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Ascend buys US recycler Circular Polymers based in California and renames it Circular Polymers by Ascend.

The purchase of the majority stake in Circular Polymers strengthens Ascend’s post-consumer recycling capability.

Circular Polymers is a recycler of post-consumer high-performance polymers, including nylon 6 (PA6), nylon 66 (PA66). The company also recycles polypropylene (PP) and polyester (PET).

“We are focused on helping our customers reach their sustainability goals, ” said Phil McDivitt, president and CEO of Ascend.

Ascend Performance Materials is based in Houston, Texas, US, and is a producer of PA6 and PA66.

consumer confidence

EU consumer confidence improves slightly in October versus September likely due to an ease in panic over a looming energy crisis.

The European Commission‘s indicator showed an increase of 0.6 percentage points.

The increase is encouraging but overall the indicator remains close to its record low level. This was established last month.

The war fuelling inflation has reduced consumer confidnece this year. The indicator slumped in March after the start of the war, showing mostly negative readings since then.

EU consumer confidence

Worries persist over the war and inflation which is now spreading throught the economy and beyond energy and food. However, some events have so far eased the loss in confidence.

These include: gas stock levels in Europe reaching more than 92% of capacity; proposed measures from the EU to cap price volatility; and countries enacting plans to help households with energy bills. These factors most certainly helped to ease the hightened anxiety over severe shortages and spikes in energy bills this winter.

The persistent increase in energy costs for most of this year has fueled inflation. It has also placed considerable strain on businesses and household budgets.

The polymer industry has certainly felt the impact of the higher energy costs and inflation this year. Demand has decreased considerably in all market segments. The loss of competitiveness against imports has worsened the situation. And many players along value chains are heavily reducing operating rates in line with a slump in demand.

Some of the worst hit markets include Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polypropylene (PP), and Nylon Engineering Resins (PA6 and PA66).

It is possible that Europe will avoid an enegy crisis and therefore confidence will continue to improve. But the unpredictability of the war make any such forecast highly unreliable.

There could be more downside surprises ahead. One of which is a cold snap drawing down gas stocks which countries will struggle to replenish next year with alternative sources of supply.

The positive reading of consumer confidence this month is certainly encouraging, but there will be little surprise if next month the indicator is back in the red.


EU consumer confidence reaches the lowest ever recorded level in July, according to the latest data from the European Commission.

The new numbers show a decrease of 3 percentage points for the EU and 3.2 percentage points for the Euro Area.

The new levels surpass the lowest point reached during the beginning of the pandemic, raising fears of a major economic contraction.

The polymer industry has been feeling a considerable pressure on demand which is to do with a multitude of reasons.

But this latest reading reinforces the view that consumer jitters over inflation, war, and a looming energy crisis are additional major factors slowing down demand for polymers.

car engine

PA66 GF prices decreased substantially in July versus June in Europe due to better supply and decreasing demand.

As costs have continued to climb, producers sacrificed margins to maintain sales.

During the past year, PA66 prices surged after supply shortages and then energy cost increases.

Faced with good demand, producers were able to increase prices and also margins.

But lately the trend has changed to the downside.

The reduction in production disruptions has improved supply. And with the lower demand, inventories have apparently increased.

The current weakness resulted in some accounts seeing triple digit decreases in July.

Meanwhile, some buyers could only manage rollovers in July. While these were few, there was no indication of price increases at any account.

What is more, the current trend is likely being driven also by the surge in energy costs eroding Europe’s competitiveness, on polymers and finished goods.

July is a slow seasonal month when companies shut down for the summer. However, the current slowdown are do to with more than just seasonal trends.

The doward momentum will probably continue in August and possibly after the summer.

Nonetheless, the war, the slowdown in China, and inflationary pressures, make any forecast highly uncertain.

While the range of possibilities remain wide, the PA66 market in Europe during the past two months has become weak, a trend that could continue for the rest of the year.

car track

Teknor Apex replaces PA66 GF (glass filled) materilas with polypropylene GF for AdBlue Tank Cover, according to a recent communication.

The company says the replacement results in several processing advantages.

Teknor Apex Germany has developend glass-filled engineering PP. The aim is to replace PA66 GF and PA6 GF with PP GF.

The company has replaced PA GF with modified PP for several applications. One example is replacement of Adblue Tank Cover for Mercedes, replacing PA66 GF30 with PP GF45.

Teknor Apex is a privately owned custom compounder. The company has nine U.S. locations, and operations in Belgium, Singapore, Germany, and China.

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