Polyamide (PA) natural grade compound prices have remained relatively stable between June and September despite sharp increases in virgin resin prices brought about by the higher cost of feedstock.
Caprolactam, which is a key PA6 feedstock, increased by €120 in July against June price levels and PA6 virgin resin prices added about €100/tonne. PA66 virgin resin prices increased by up to €100/tonne in response to the higher notations for benzene, cyclohexane and adipic acid.
PA6 natural grade compound prices have increased by only €20/tonne during the last four months while PA66 prices remaining largely unchanged. The non-integrated suppliers and independent compounders are starting to feel the pain.
PA demand has remained weak throughout Q3 with sales reported to be around 25% lower than the same period last year. There are however signs that automotive and E&E sales are recovering from the very low levels seen earlier in the year. Supply is well balanced with producers tailoring output in line with the reduced demand.
Producers are expected to try to raise prices to cover the higher cost levels over the next three months. DuPont announced on 21 October a price rise of €250/tonne across its PA product line, citing raw material and energy cost increases.
producers have resisted making any price announcements and notations have remained more or less unchanged over the summer, despite polyester feedstock costs remaining at a high level. Demand continued to be subdued and availability was good.
This month there is expected to be a significant rise in the cost of polyester feedstock such as BDO. PBT producers are likely to resist any downward price movement and could even attempt to push notations higher. Demand is however likely to remain subdued and rising import volumes could put further pressure on prices.