04 June 2008 14:26 [Source: ICIS news]
BUDAPEST (ICIS news)--The polycarbonate (PC) market was in bad shape for 2008, according to market watchers on Tuesday, but sources could not agree on the extent.
It has been a tough year for PC suppliers as the market remained oversupplied and the optical media segment shrunk amid lower demand for CDs and DVDs.
Prices have remained stagnant and many buyers were pessimistic on whether suppliers Dow Chemical, Bayer and SABIC Innovative Plastics would realise the price increases they nominated for 1 July.
The recent health concerns over feedstock bis-phenol A would cause PC to disappear from the food and beverage container market, the trader added.
But Georg Buellsbach, Mitsui's director of specialty chemicals in ?xml:namespace>
"We're used to growth of 10% or more," he said. "But 6% growth in such a large industry is still good."
"2008 is bad," he added. "But there will be adjustments made and 2009 will be difference and by 2010 we'll be back on track."
PC's main strength, its versatility as a manufacturing material for many different products, would eventually pull it through its current downturn, Buellsbach, who monitors the phenol chain for Mitsui, said.
Its use in flat screen televisions and light-weight automobiles showed manufacturers were still finding uses for the light, nearly shatterproof plastic, he said
Eventually, demand would catch up with production capacity and the market would strengthen, he added.
"It's a typical business cycle," he said. "In reality, we're just in a downturn. It will get better again."
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