FocusAsia caprolactam offers fall as buying interests wane

18 November 2010 09:16  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot offers for Asian caprolactam turned lower this week and prices look set to continue weakening through December as buying interests suddenly waned, industry sources said on Thursday.

Prices slipped $5-20/tonne (€3.7-14.8/tonne) week on week on the high end of the range to $2,770-2,855/tonne on 17 November, according to ICIS.

Selling indications were at $2,750-2,800/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China on Thursday, slipping from $2,830-2,850/tonne CFR China last week, market sources said, quashing hopes that capro values would go beyond $2,900/tonne.

Bullish market sentiment buoyed up caprolactam prices in recent weeks, amid price spikes in cotton futures, which triggered the sharp increases in values of chemicals across the polyester and nylon industry chain.

Caprolactam prices soared to record highs of $2,770-2,860/tonne CFR China on 10 November, also in line with the strong demand of nylon chips from the downstream nylon industry, according to ICIS.

Caprolactam prices surged 1.5-3.8% in a week to 10 November, but market sentiment suddenly turned bearish, leading to price falls, market sources said.

"The market just lost the momentum to go up," said a northeast Asian trader.

Bids were scarce now as buyers took a cautious stance, sellers and traders said.

A 500-tonne cargo of Mexican origin was heard sold on Thursday at $2,780/tonne CFR China for late November shipment, a trader said. The deal was concluded at a price $80/tonne lower than last week's assessed prices.

In Taiwan, buyers continued to shun spot purchases, preferring to rely on contract volumes, and were currently waiting offer for December contracts to be announced, market sources said.

Buying ideas in Taiwan were quoted at $2,750/tonne CFR Taiwan, they said.

November contract negotiations were concluded at an average of $2,700/tonne CFR NE Asia, against offers of $2,730-2,750/tonne CFR NE Asia.

At least two major Asian suppliers said December contracts would most likely be settled higher, at $2,800/tonne CFR NE Asia, at least.

Actual offers for December caprolactam contracts would be announced by the end of the month.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Junie Lin

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