Europe PC producers target €0.22-0.27/kg increases in March

22 February 2013 12:18  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Switzerland-based polycarbonate (PC) producer Styron plans to increase the price of all Calibre and Emerge PC blends and products by €0.27/kg, effective from 7 March or as contract terms allow, the company said in a statement on Friday.

"Over the last year, the PC industry has experienced extremely low margins that are no longer sustainable. In order to restore margins to an acceptable level, Styron is increasing the price of its PC products to catch up with the recent and continuous cost increases," the company said.

Earlier in February another major producer announced it would target a €0.22/kg price increase in March.

Buyers said they were not so convinced prices would increase because the market is flooded with material, while recent plant shutdowns and capacity reductions are proof that producers are struggling to shift PC, meaning this is not the right time to raise prices.

"Producers have been talking about increasing prices for the past year and nothing ever happened, so I think there are too many mixed messages out there," a buyer said.

The European PC market is oversupplied and to balance the market producers have cut operating rates to 60-70% of nameplate capacity. Saudi Arabia-based PC maker Saudi Kayan shut its 260,000 tonne/year PC plant in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia, for a two-month turnaround on 10 February.

"It is hard to believe they will manage to pass on anything as demand is so poor and the market is oversupplied," the buyer added.

According to ICIS, the average price of moulding grade PC is at €2.35/kg ($3.09/kg) free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE), while extrusion grade PC is at €2.20/kg FD NWE.

($1 = €0.76)

Follow Janos Gal on Twitter @janosgalICIS

By: Janos Gal
+44 208 652 3214

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