07 December 2010 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European nylon 6 (or polyamide 6) November virgin polymer contracts settled at a rollover despite a €0.03/kg increase in feedstock caprolactam prices because downstream markets could not absorb price hikes, buyers and sellers said on Tuesday.
Virgin polymer nylon 6 November contracts settled at €2.05-2.15/kg ($2.73-2.86/kg) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).
Nevertheless, some virgin polymer November contracts did rise by €0.02-0.05/kg, as a result of caprolactam increases, but remained within the above range.
30% glass filled (prime) nylon 6 November contract prices increased by €0.01/kg, to €2.50-2.76/kg FD NWE because of restricted availability of nylon additives
Demand for nylon 6 remained strong through most of Europe, buoyed by export demand to Asia and South America - in particular China and Brazil. Asian demand was stimulated by cotton shortages which were increasing consumption of synthetic textiles.
Further increases in Asian buying interest resulted from automotive industry growth in the region, linked to Chinese GDP.
Demand in South America was increasing due to underlying growth in that region’s nylon market. Several sources highlighted Brazil as the most promising area for nylon expansion in 2011, because of strengthening GDP.
The majority of compounders said that there would be no seasonal slowdown in December demand this year because of strong exports. Compounders said they would run plants throughout the period, treating it as a normal trading month.
“Everyone is producing, hardly anyone is shutting [down production in December],” a major producer said.
Nevertheless, there was some regionalisation within Europe as demand in Italy was falling because of a slowdown in the domestic automotive industry. Italian automotive demand in October fell by 20% from September, local sources said. Italian players were expecting traditional two week closures in December.
“The market is slowing down,” an Italian compounder said.
Consumption in the downstream carpet market was low because of weakening construction activity relating to winter conditions.
($1 = €0.75)
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