European PC sellers announce price hikes for September

22 August 2012 16:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European polycarbonate (PC) producers have announced price increases for September and the fourth quarter because of high feedstock costs and low margins, sources said on Wednesday.

Styron announced €0.25/kg ($0.31/kg) price increases for all Calibre and Emerge PC compounds and blends effective 1 September or as existing contract terms allow.

“Our margins have continued to erode and it has reached a point where operating under these conditions has become unsustainable,” said Nicolas Joly, product market manager at the company.

SABIC Innovative Plastics announced an increase in global prices by about €0.20/kg, effective from 10 September.

Another producer is said to have announced similar increases but was unavailable for comment this week.

Buyers said they will likely resist the increases but understand the situation has become unsustainable for many producers and that price rises are necessary to keep PC plants open.

“We know the situation is tough for [PC] producers and if they cannot increase prices they will shut down, which is not good for anyone,” a PC buyer said.

The announcements followed feedstock cost increases in August which came at a time when demand is traditionally at its lowest.

The European benzene contract price for August was agreed at €1,061/tonne, an increase of €108/tonne from the previous month; while co-feedstock propylene contract prices settled at €1,055/tonne, up by €120/tonne from July.

Moulding grade PC is at €2.25-2.45/kg free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE), while extrusion grade is at €2.15-2.25/kg FD NWE.

PC producers said they now have no choice but to increase prices because margins have eroded and they are selling below break-even levels.

“We have worked with our customers to avoid increasing prices for as long as we can, but unfortunately we can no longer put off the inevitable, which is to raise prices,” Joly said.

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($1= €0.80)

By: Janos Gal
+44 208 652 3214

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