18 March 2010 15:34 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--A European nylon 6,6 producer on Thursday disputed claims from some sources that nylon 6 consistently offers environmental benefits above nylon 6,6.
The producer voiced its opinion in the wake of predictions from the nylon market of a possible end-use consumer switch from nylon 6,6 to nylon 6 due to latter being cheaper and the former being in short supply. End-users would switch if the nylon 6,6 market remained short in the long term, which several players were forecasting.
At the time, nylon sources said that nylon 6 was more environmentally friendly than nylon 6,6. They added that this would strengthen the desire for automotive manufacturers to switch products, as green issues were becoming more important in the sector.
Sources had argued that nylon 6 has less environmental impact due to less energy being used in its manufacture.
However, a company source at the nylon 6,6 producer said that for some automotive applications, nylon 6,6 actually lowers carbon emissions.
The source gave the example of oil pans, which it said had 20% lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the life cycle of a vehicle due to a 10% reduction of the oil pan’s weight when nylon 6,6 is used instead of nylon 6.
“The oil pan weight is 10% less when nylon 6,6 is used [instead of nylon 6] in order to get the same characteristics. This means there’s less material used in the manufacture. It also mean that there’s less weight in the vehicle [reducing fuel consumption]. This means that there’s a 20% improvement in CO2 emissions using nylon 6,6 over the life cycle of the vehicle,” the source said.
Nylon 6,6 first-quarter virgin polymer contract prices settled at €2.25-2.45/kg ($3.08-3.36/kg), whereas February nylon 6 virgin polymer contract prices finalised at €1.73-1.85/kg, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Nylon 6,6 contract negotiations were yet to begin. Nevertheless, players were expecting sharp increases in the second quarter, with prices expected to rise by at least €0.25/kg due to the tight supply.
March nylon 6 contract negotiations were ongoing. A number of buyers and sellers predicted that March contract prices would finalise at €1.80-1.90/kg, a rise of €0.05-0.07/kg from February. This was consistent with other forecasts of rises of €0.05-0.10/kg in March due to tightening supply.
($1 = €0.73)
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