PC OPTICAL MEDIA PRICES SPIKED from Q3 to Q4 by €260/m, according to the latest GC Intelligence market analysis.
The persistent supply shortages was a major factor pushing prices up for optical media buyers.
The overall polycarbonate (PC) market has been short in 2021, with the situation having slightly improved from the crisis in the spring.
With optical media producers having declined during the past few years, buyers have had limited options during this period of shortages.
The lack of strategic position for this grade from a producer’s standpoint was likely an additional factor pushing prices up.
Optical media polycarbonate demand has been declining 20% per year since the peak in the early 2000s.
The loss of popularity of CDs and DVDs to online streaming was a major contributor to this declining trend.
This decline in structural demand resulted in producers shutting down production of the grade.
But the increases in prices have also been to do with the recent global shortages, and now high energy costs.
However, optical media prices are now higher than many general purpose prices, a sign of structural tightness of the grade.
What is more, the seasonal peak in demand ahead of the Christmas holiday likely also contributed to push prices higher in Q4.
The support should remain until at least Q1. The pressure from energy prices will likely persist, pushing up also prices of raw materials.