Asia capro offers fall $90/tonne on weak demand; benzene drags

15 May 2012 10:43  [Source: ICIS news]

By Junie Lin

BRISBANE (ICIS)--Offers for May caprolactam were $90/tonne (€70/tonne) lower on Tuesday from a week ago on tumbling benzene values, and as demand from downstream nylon (polyamide) chips and yarn sectors has remained weak, market sources said.

Some sellers are quoting $2,500/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China for spot cargoes, with limited buying ideas surfacing at $2,450/tonne, which is $130-150/tonne lower than last week’s assessed price.

Spot prices stood at $2,580-2,600/tonne CFR China in the week ended 9 May, according to ICIS.

Upstream benzene prices hit a fresh four-month low on Tuesday, tracking falls in the crude futures market, prompting most capro market players to adopt at a wait-and-see stance.

“It is almost meaningless to offer now, as sentiment is so poor now,” a capro seller said.

Capro is an intermediate primarily used in the production of nylon 6 (or polyamide 6) fibres, plastics and other polymeric materials.

Meawnwhile, buying enquiries for downstream semi dull nylon chip (polyamide) have stalled, following much lower price quotes for capro, industry sources said.

“I got a buying enquiry for 2,000-3,000 tonnes of nylon chips at $2,930/tonne CFR China yesterday, but there was no response since capro spot prices fell,” a major northeast Asian nylon chips producer said.

“I don’t have the confidence to buy spot capro now [even though the prices have dropped], as demand for nylon appears to weaken,” he said.

In the week ended 8 May, downstream semi dull nylon chip (polyamide) prices in Asia fell by $50/tonne week on week on the high end of the range to $2,900-2,950/tonne CFR China, according to ICIS.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Junie Lin

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