PA6 producers announced planned price increases of €300/tonne at the beginning of Q2 to compensate for large cost increases. PA66 producers reacted to the massive rise in the cost of butadiene (up by €270/tonne in June) by also calling for a €300/tonne price rise.
However, these moves did not lead to sizeable across-the-board price rises with notations for virgin PA6 and PA66 resin increasing by €100/tonne since June and remaining largely unchanged through to September as feedstock costs turned down.
Virgin PA6 resin supply has been short over the last four months, partly as a result of BASF stock-building in advance of a maintenance shutdown. Caprolactam was also very tight in Europe. PA66 resin and adipic acid availability was very tight in early summer but has since returned to normal levels.
PA demand slowed down during the summer due mainly to the holiday season and converters having built higher stocks. The automotive sector has however continued to order at a relatively high level.
While the PBT feedstock cost mix has moved in different directions over the course of the last three months, producers nevertheless responded to a sharp rise in the Q3 butanediol (BDO) contract price by announcing planned price increases of €300/tonne. Producers have managed to push through price increases of €100/tonne for natural black material since June.
Supply tightened during the summer due mainly to BASF calling force majeure for PBT polymer and compounds from Schwarzheide, Germany. BASF ended force majeure end August and material availability is now close to normal. However, all PBT producers reported shortages of the flame retardants for manufacture of E&E products.