16 October 2012 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European polyacetal (POM) fourth-quarter contract prices have finalised at a rollover, buyers and sellers said on Tuesday, despite expectations that demand will fall over the course of the fourth quarter.
According to market sources, uncertainty over the development of raw material costs and actual order levels across the fourth quarter have led to stable pricing in fourth-quarter contracts, in spite of forecasts that demand will weaken.
Current fundamentals are broadly unchanged compared with the beginning of the third quarter.
Demand from the downstream automotive sector, however, is expected to weaken during the fourth quarter becuase bearish macroeconomic conditions have reduced consumer purchasing power.
Some estimates have forecast demand in the fourth quarter to be up to 30% below the fourth quarter of 2011 and the demand picture for the last quarter of 2012 remains far from certain.
Players are delaying renegotiating prices until the first quarter of 2013 when it is hoped a clearer picture will have emerged.
Fourth-quarter natural grade POM contract prices finalised at €2.20-2.30/kg ($2.86-2.99/kg) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).
($1 = €0.77)
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