Europe May caprolactam contracts fall €70/tonne on weak demand

30 May 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European May caprolactam contract prices have finalised down €70/tonne ($88/tonne) because of weak demand, buyers and sellers said on Wednesday.

Low consumption has been caused by a lack of buying interest in the downstream nylon 6 sector. Nylon 6 buyers are purchasing on a just-in-time basis and reducing inventories because of bearish macroeconomic sentiment, particularly in the end-use fibres and automotives sectors.

According to market estimates, nylon 6 producers are currently operating at around 70% of capacity.

Compounding this, export demand from Europe to Asia is also weak. Again, this has been caused by macroeconomic fears.

According to market estimates, export demand from Europe to Asia in May has been 50% below May 2011 levels.

European May caprolactam contract prices finalised at €2,080-2,150/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

A minority of May contracts were finalised at a fall of €40/tonne, but this was not considered representative of the bulk of the market.

Price targets are yet to be set for June, although many players expect that weak demand could cause further erosion.

Volatile upstream benzene prices mean that caprolactam players will not form June price ideas until the June benzene contract price is settled.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Mark Victory
+44 208 652 3214

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