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Polycarbonate (PC) extrusion prices roll over in the European Union in March, according to the latest GC Intelligence price assessments.

Extrusion grade polycarbonate (PC) prices have rolled over, indicating a stabilization in the European market.

This shift can be attributed to a slight pickup in demand and producers lowering production.

However, potential supply disruptions due to Force Majeure at a major production site in Germany raise concerns.

Price forecasts suggest extrusion prices will likely fluctuate around the bottom.

Ongoing headwinds such as slow economic growth, inflation, and rising interest rates will continue to pressure demand and prices, particularly in the first half of the year.

March’s sluggish demand is attributed to inflationary pressure and slow economic growth, dampening investment and spending.

The PC market is expected to experience sluggish demand at least during the first half of the year.

Although the market is currently well-supplied, concerns about potential disruptions and shortages are increasing due to reduced operating rates.

A mild rebound in demand could quickly tighten the market, exacerbating supply concerns.

new product

Covestro lifts force majeure. The company is understood to have announced that it will lift the Force Majeure for polycarbonate (PC) products produced at its Filago site from May 1, 2023.

Covestro has compounding production in Filago, Italy. The capacity at Filago is 45,000 metric tons.

However, while the company lifts force majeur in Filago, the Force Majeure will remain in place at its Uerdingen site.

The electrolysis line at Uerdingen is expected to restart with limited operation from March 31, 2023. The plant should resume full operation by November 30, 2023.

Nonetheless, the company intends to fulfill all confirmed orders for polycarbonate products.

Covestro hopes to fulfill normal market demand for affected polycarbonate products from Q3 onwards.

bearish market

European polycarbonate prices decreased in February due to lower gas prices, weak demand, and ample availability.

According to GC Intelligence assessments, prices posted triple digit decreases for some grades.

While the automotive industry has shown slight improvements, other sectors, including construction and electrical and electronics, continue to struggle.

Suppliers are lowering prices to attract volumes amid persistent oversupply, while Asian imports remain competitive.

The forecast is a continuation of price decreases, with a seasonal increase in demand in the spring expected to prevent deeper falls.

Demand remains subdued in most sectors, despite some improvement since the slump in December.

Oversupply continues into February, although the pressure has slightly eased.

The polycarbonate market is expected to remain well-supplied through the year, with any gradual increase in demand being met by increases in production.

Shortages during the spring remain a plausible scenario. If production issues persist amid a sudden rebound in demand supply could become short. But this for now remains the least probable outcome.


Polymer markets stuggle to gain traction in January on the back of persistent headwinds. Conditions across many polymer markets, such as PA, ABS, and PC remain poor.

The main reason for this weakness is intense competition from imports and weak demand.

The increase energy costs during the past year has damaged Europe’s competitiveness in the global market. This has led to competitive imports displacing domestic demand.

Demand also failed to pick up in January as consumers in Europe are facing inflationary pressures and high energy bills. These factors are squeezing household budgets and limiting the ability for individuals to make purchases.

This has resulted in a continued softening of demand for goods, putting additional strain on businesses.

Faced with a weak outlook, buyers are in no hurry to replenish inventories and many are instead reducing stocks in line with the poor demand.

Engineering polymers are a type of plastic that possess superior mechanical and thermal properties compared to traditional plastics.

These materials are specifically designed and engineered to withstand high stress and extreme temperatures, making them suitable for use in a wide range of industrial and consumer applications.

PA, ABS, and PC are specific types of engineering polymers that exhibit unique characteristics and properties.

PA, also known as polyamide, has high strength and toughness, making it suitable for use in automotive and industrial applications.

ABS, or acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, offers a combination of high impact resistance and rigidity, making it a popular choice for toys and appliances.

PC, or polycarbonate, is a transparent and durable polymer. It can withstand high temperatures. Applications include the manufacturing of safety equipment, electronic devices, and other industrial products.

chemical plant

Trinseo closes polycarbonate line in Stade, Germany, according to a recent company announcement.

The uncompetitive cost position of the plant seems to have prompted the closure of the production line.

Trinseo will continue to produce polycarbonate at the site. But it will be used for its compounding products.

“The line closure is expected to result in lower costs and significantly less exposure to the cyclical merchant polycarbonate market.” The company said.

The polycarbonate (PC) European market has suffered from the recent rise in energy costs.

Since the start of the war, most market participants have seen their margins fall. This has happened amid low demand and much competition from imports.

Another headwind for European producers concerns the current tremendous increase in PC capacity in China.

PC capacity in China has increased around 500,000 ktpa in 2022 and is expected to increase a further by 770,000 in 2023.

As this is taking place during a period of poor demand in the country, it has fuelled competitive imports from Asia.

Meanwhile, Europe seems to have so far avoided a potentially disastrous energy crisis, since gas dropped to €76.50/MWh.

But as the likelihood of a recession remains in place, there is a high probability of a yet another painful year ahead.

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