Engineering Resins demand is buoyant in July in Europe, despite ongoing raw material shortages impacting downstream markets. The severe shortages experienced earlier in Q2 left many buyers with low inventories. Therefore, part of the current demand may be to do with stock building.
Polycarbonate (PC) prices in Q3 are expected to stabilise as producers should succeed to maintain current margins. The good demand and extremely short supply will support this trend.
Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) costs in July are increasing again, driven by rising methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices. The MMA market is experiencing another wave of shortages.
PA6 prices in July are unlikely to retreat in line with feedstocks. Prices should remain relatively steady in Q3 amid volatile markets across the value chain.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) prices in July will decrease in line with costs. However, supply remains tight, partly because of the closed arbitrage from Asia to Europe.
Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) supply during the past few weeks has improved from the critical shortages experienced earlier in the year because of better acrylonitrile (ACN) supply conditions.
Polystyrene (PS) demand in July increased, leaving many sellers sold out. This reflects both strong demand and probably buyers replenishing stocks after signs that costs could start to increase again.
Polypropylene (PP) supply in July improved in Europe as imports increased, but the market remains tight. Buyers are struggling to negotiate lower prices.
Overall, while supply of many polymers improved from the critical shortages earlier in the year, buyers continue to face shortages, long lead times, and high prices. As the pandemic is far from over, market participants will most likely have to wait until 2022 before seeing a rebalancing of the markets.