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POLYCARBONATE PRICES INCREASE €140/MT
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Polycarbonate prices increase €140/mt in November 2021, according to GC Intelligence prices assessments.

Disruptions to supplies, logistics issues, rising raw materials costs, and now high utility bills created another wave of price increases.

The latest addition to costs has been the rising gas prices which has pushed up electricity costs for producers.

There were announcements of increases between €450/mt and €650/mt. But as prices are already at very high levels for buyers, there was considerable resistance.

Therefore, players are trying to negotiate higher prices in stages. While many buyers will probably not absorb the entire proposed increases, they may have to accept substantially higher prices by Q1.

POLYCARBONATE BUYERS FACE SEVERE HIKES

Polycarbonate (PC) buyers face severe hikes in Europe after producers communicated their intentions to secure much higher prices. They blamed ongoing good demand, logistic issues, and higher electricity costs.


As most polymers, PC prices have been on an upward trend for months. From the spring to September, lingering production issues and good demand pushed prices to €2,600-3,000/mt DDP for many participants.

However, in recent weeks, the spike in electricity costs added more pressure on an already strained market, influencing another round of hikes. Even the lowest priced markets, such as extrusion, are now facing the possibility that prices will reach above €3,000/mt.

The recent communication from Sabic was a €650/mt increase from 15 November. In addition to logistic issues, tight market and high raw material costs, the company blames the high cost of energy.

And recently Covestro communicated an increase of €450/mt, mentioning logistics issues and high raw material costs. However, the increases will be effective from 1 December.

PC OPTICAL MEDIA PRICES SPIKED IN Q4

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.

TRINSEO SEEKS UTILITIES SURCHARGE

Trinseo seeks utilities surcharge of €200-300/mt on styrenics and polycarbonates products from 1 November.


Trinseo will implement €200/mt surcharge on the following products: styrene monomer (SM); polystyrene (PS); styrene acrylonitrile (SAN); and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

However, a surcharge of €300/mt will be implemented on polycarbonate (PC), PC/ABS Resins, and ABS Long Glass Fiber (ABS LGF).

The company noted that “these surcharges are in response to unprecedented and escalating pressure from energy prices and apply to all current agreements and contracts.”

Trinseo is not the only company to have take the step to implement surcharges in response to the spike in energy prices.

Many other polymer producers are taking the same step. For example, Celanese is applying a surcharge of €500/mt on POM.

If energy prices will continue to increase amid short supply of many polymers, producers will probably succeed in passing on the extra costs.

The higher energy costs adds yet another factor fuelling volatility across the entire value chain of the polymer industry.

As the increasing turmoil in many markets reduces visibility further, many players expect a prolonged volatile period ahead.

PC extrusion prices climbed in July 2021 by €120/mt from June on the back of persistent supply shortages.

Buyers have had to endure yet another increase, taking values for some close to €3,000/mt.

The global polycarbonate (PC) market experienced supply issues for months, causing critical shortages during a period of strong demand.

As prices reach high levels and costs retreat, the upside is easing, but a retreat will probably no happen any times soon.

PC extrusion prices climbed because the pandemic continues to create many distortions on both demand and supply.

It will take time, probably well into 2022, before the PC market wills start to return to balance.

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