NPRA '08: US carpet slump impacts caprolactam

31 March 2008 21:47  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--Soft demand for carpet in the US is likely to sustain the country’s exports of nylon feedstock caprolactam to Asia, an Asian nylon producer said on Monday.

The poor outlook for the US economy was a continuing concern, the source said on the sidelines of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) annual meeting.

US exports of caprolactam to Asia are estimated at around 50,000 tonnes/year, the producer said, adding that supply in Asia was tight.

US carpet makers have been under intense pressure due to the sharp contraction in the US housing sector.

A decline in new home construction and reduced sales of existing homes has hurt demand for replacement flooring.

The downturn has prompted production cutbacks in the US carpet industry, which is largely based in the state of Georgia.

Mohawk Industries, one of the biggest manufacturers in the US, reported in February that fourth-quarter 2007 sales by its carpet division were down 13% from the year-earlier period.

"In the first quarter (of 2008), the company is expecting the US flooring industry to continue its decline," Mohawk said.

The NPRA meeting runs through Tuesday.

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By: Stephen Burns
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