Asia capro makers cut Dec offers by 10% on weak nylon sector

07 December 2011 04:04  [Source: ICIS news]

By Junie Lin

Caprolactam is used in the production of nylon, which is widely used in the manufacture of hosiery, knitted garments, threads, ropes, filaments, nets and tyre cords.SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Caprolactam (capro) producers in Asia have lowered their December contract prices by about 10%, given falling spot prices amid weakness in the downstream nylon sector, industry sources on Wednesday.

For the December contracts, prices are now being quoted at around $2,500-2,550/tonne (€1,875-1,913/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast Asia) and above, down by more than $300/tonne compared with last week's quotes, they said.

Original selling ideas for December contracts were at a wide range last week – Japan-origin material was offered at $2,950/tonne CFR NE Asia, while Europe-origin material was offered at $2,750-2,800/tonne CFR NE Asia.
“Such levels are no longer workable,” said a northeast Asia-based producer.

A major producer in Asia now expect contract prices to fall to around $2,500/tonne CFR NE Asia, which could threaten production margins.

Another major northeast Asian producer is finalising its December contract at $2,550/tonne CFR NE Asia with his customers.

Monthly capro contracts are freely negotiated, and are offered usually at the end of each month. Contract discussions for December are expected to be wrapped up by next week, market sources said.

Buyers are quoting as low as $2,400/tonne CFR NE Asia this week, but some of them admitted that contract prices will remain higher than the spot prices.

“I will agree to $2,450/tonne CFR NE Asia immediately if the sellers are agreeable,” said a major buyer based in China.

Capro spot prices had fallen by more than $1,150/tonne or 32% since early September, with offers being quoted at around $2,450/tonne CFR China this week.

In the week ended 30 November, prices were assessed at $2,450-2600/tonne CFR China, down by 100-150 week on week, according to ICIS.

Sellers and buyers of caprolactam agree that contract prices above $2,600/tonne CFR NE Asia are unworkable amid the current weak market backdrop.

Sales of downstream nylon chips are faltering and prices had been plunging due to weak demand.

Prices of Asian nylon (polyamide) textile grade semi dull chips in Asia plunged $300/tonne in the week ending 6 December, registering their heaviest decline in nine weeks. Prices slumped by $865/tonne or 23% since mid October, according to ICIS data.

Caprolactam is used in the production of nylon, which is widely used in the manufacture of hosiery, knitted garments, threads, ropes, filaments, nets and tyre cords.

($1 = €0.75)

For more information on caprolactam, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections


By: Junie Lin



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