13 July 2011 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European third-quarter moulding-grade polycarbonate (PC) prices have settled at a drop of €0.15-0.30/kg on the previous quarter, owing to declining feedstock costs and slowing seasonal demand, sources said on Wednesday.
The settlement brought prices to €2.90-3.10/kg ($1.85-1.98/lb, $4,079-4,365/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).
Extrusion-grade PC prices have declined by €0.15-0.30/kg to €2.83-3.03/kg FD NWE.
Many market players are concerned about the macro economy and the sluggish recovery of a number of European states.
If economic conditions do not improve, demand will slow from the downstream automotive and construction industries which are linked to GDP. As a result, prices may further decline, one producer said.
"There is huge uncertainty in Europe now regarding the economy because we do not know what is going to happen to struggling economies in the EU," one producer said.
Buyers said that producers are trying to clear inventories ahead of the summer maintenance periods. This has coincided with a reduction in upstream bisphenol-A (BPA) and phenol costs, resulting in the price drop.
A number of producers said that currently there was still healthy demand coming from the construction and automotive industries.
"Slowing European demand and improved raw material availability in Q3 have also contributed to the price decline," said another producer.
One buyer said that on larger purchases, sellers were willing to give bigger discounts. Individual contract prices may also differ, depending on the quality and grade of polycarbonate purchased.
As the traditional European holiday season starts in July and August, many market players plan to shut for maintenance, which will reduce demand until September. Demand is expected to pick up again after that, one buyer said.
($1 = €0.71)
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