PA6 and PA66 producers have succeeded in implementing substantial price increases during the last three months. PA6 sellers were looking for increases ranging between €300-400/tonne to compensate for an explosion in the cost of benzene, caprolactam and additives while adipic acid, the key PA66 feedstock, has risen by €150/tonne during the first quarter.
In early May, PA6 natural grade at the lower end of the price scale was close to €400/tonne higher and PA66 natural grade material prices were trading around €130/tonne higher compared with early February levels.
PA6 availability was tight throughout the last three months and suppliers were unable to meet the lively demand in full. PA6 feedstock availability was restricted as a result of force majeure being called for caprolactam by both UBE and Honeywell.
The PA66 sector was also affected by feedstock shortages as a result of production outages at major suppliers. These included force majeure on adipic acid at Rhodia's Chalampé, France plant for most of the first quarter.
PA producers are expected to press for further price rises during the next three months in view of the unsatisfactory margins and continued tight supply.
PBT suppliers have implemented price hikes of between €350-400/tonne since the beginning of the year in response to soaring feedstock costs such as paraxylene and butanediol (BDO).
PBT supply is well balanced with producers running plants at high operating rates to meet lively order intake.
The upward price momentum is likely to continue during the next three months as the Q2 BDO contract price increased by €175/tonne, feedstock is still in short supply and order activity is strong.