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BASF INCREASES BDO PRICES BY €400/MT

BASF increases BDO prices by €400/mt, according to a press release posted on the company’s website.

Butanediol (BDO) is a key raw material for polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). BDO prices posted big increases during the past year, taking prices to substantially above €4,000/mt.

BDO price changes

During the past year, BDO suffered supply issues and increasing costs. Lately, the rise in electricity prices added an additional burden on costs.

At the same time, demand for derivatives such as PBT increased during the pandemic because of a surge in consumer spending driven by the lockdowns.

As the pandemic threatens to continue into next year, demand from sectors such as electrical and electronics and construction should continue to find support.

LANXESS LIFTS FORCE MAJEURE ON PBT
Automotive electrical connectors

LANXESS lifts force majeure (FM) on polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), according to very reliable sources.

The company had declared FM on PBT in the spring because of severe shortages of purified terephthalic acid (PTA).

A better supply of PTA has allowed the company to lift the FM in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Overall, despite the lifting of the FM, availability of PBT remains constrained due to logistic issues and shortages of raw materials and additives.

And the prolonged disruptions across the value chain will likely continue to impact deliveries and limit quantities.

Meanwhile, the company has kept the FM on flame retardant products due to the severe shortages of flame retardant additives.

DUPONT ANNOUNCED PRICE INCREASES
polymer granules

DuPont announced price increases on nylon 6 and nylon 66, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyoxymethylene (POM) of €330-500/mt.

The company, blaming current market conditions, noted that the increases will be effective from 1 December or as contracts allow.

Nylon 6/66 (PA6/66) products will increase by €480/mt, PBT will increase €500/mt, and POM 330/mt. DuPont announced price increases much higher for flame retardant products.

In the past few weeks, most polymer producers have been reactive to the ongoing surges in costs.

In addition to supply disruptions and rising raw materials, gas prices have pushed up costs of production.

The increases in gas prices have increased utility costs and polymer producers are trying to pass these on to their customers.

Moreover, in the case of nylon, particularly nylon 6, ammonia shortages and high prices created an additional cost increase of the raw material caprolactam.

LANXESS TO CREATE INDEPENDENT HIGH PERFORMANCE BUSINESS
emobility charging

LANXESS plans to create an independent high performance business unit that includes nylon and (PBT), according to a recent press release.

The company has recently announced its intention to create an independent legal corporate structure for its High Performance Materials (HPM) business.

The portfolio includes the engineering plastics polyamide and polybutylene terephthalate business. The business also includes thermoplstic fiber composites.

The main downstream industries for the HPM products are automotive and electrical and electronics.

According to the company, a separate legal structure will enhance flexibility to be able to meet growth opportunities in a market that is transitioning to new forms of mobility.

The press note adds that “the business unit employs around 1,900 people at 14 sites worldwide. Sales are in the low single-digit billion euro range.”

PBT PRICES ROLLED OVER IN EUROPE

Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) prices rolled over in Europe on most accounts, stabilizing at high levels reached earlier in the year. Signs of softer values after the summer did not translate into lower prices in Q4 as cost pressures increased again.

During the first half of the year, production issues, high costs, and logistic problems pushed prices up substantially. Later in the year, some lower prices were offered, but recently the high energy costs complicated negotiations and led to rollovers.

With little to suggest a major shift in current market dynamics in the short term, players will likely negotiate rollovers also in Q1. The rollovers resulted in PBT GF30 FR to remain around €4,500/mt DDP. This level is substantially higher than the €3,050/mt DDP before the pandemic.

Moreover, the tight market pushed some buyers to seek alternative sources, pushing prices above €5,000/mt for some.

Europe during the past few years has turned into a major importer of PBT from Asia. Therefore, the increases in freight rates, disruptions, and delays played a major part to shorten supply.

And as the rise in the cost of the raw material butanediol (BDO) is due to structural factors, PBT prices are unlikely to retreat to previous levels any time soon.

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