Polycarbonate (PC) prices in Europe increased in June by €140/mt on the back of good demand and tight supply.
PC general purpose prices have now increased just over €1,000/mt since January, according to GC Intelligence assessments.
The global PC market since the end of 2020 has been characterised by production issues, a surge in demand, and logistics issues.
However, in June, lower prices in Asia and slightly better supply conditions support the view that prices are near their peak.
A contraction in prices between buyers seems to be taking place. As the market remains tight, sellers are bringing prices closer together, not only between accounts but between grades.
Meanwhile, demand showed no signs of abating, even if some downstream sectors struggle with raw material disruptions. And supply remains short, with lead times between 20-30 weeks.
While polycarbonate prices in Europe followed a rather steep upward trend since the second half of 2020, the upside is slowing down. This is partly due to buyers’ resistance as they struggle to pass on the big increases downstream.
Meanwhile, Europe remains the region with the lowest price. In Asia for instance, prices have reached $4,000/mt recently.
While recent market developments suggest a slowdown in the upside, a major retreat from the current highs is unlikely to happen in 2021 and possibly 2022.