02 February 2010 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--European first-quarter nylon 6,6 virgin polymer contract prices settled at an increase of €0.15/kg ($0.21/kg) from the fourth quarter of 2009 on tight supply, strong demand and higher feedstock cyclohexane costs, buyers and sellers said on Tuesday.
Nylon 6,6 availability remained extremely low, due to continued production problems at major manufacturer Rhodia Polyamide, and low manufacturer inventories following the fourth-quarter seasonal slowdown, sources confirmed.
“We are still seeing a very tight market in nylon 6,6,” one producer said.
Rhodia's force majeure - declared on 9 October 2009 due to logistical constraints resulting from low water levels on the ?xml:namespace>
The force majeure was not expected to end in the near future, the source added.
Downstream machinery and power-tool consumption was returning strongly in the wake of the beginning of a global economic recovery, further shortening supply, sources said.
Demand from the automotive industry was also said to be increasing, but at a slower pace due to the end of government financial stimulus packages.
Nylon 6,6 was expected to further tighten in the second quarter, seasonally the strongest quarter for automotive consumption, which is the largest end-use industry for nylon 6,6.
“[Nylon 6,6] availability is very difficult. It will get more and more problematic in April and May as demand goes up. Sourcing product in the second quarter is going to be tricky,” a buyer said.
Nylon 6,6 first-quarter virgin polymer contracts settled at €2.25-2.45/kg FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest
($1 = €0.72)
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