03 April 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European caprolactam (capro) March contracts have settled at an average increase of €10/tonne ($13/tonne), buyers and sellers confirmed on Wednesday.
Weak demand and an inability to pass price rises further downstream meant that producers were not able to recoup the full upstream benzene March contract price increase of €14/tonne.
Downstream nylon 6 March contract prices settled at a rollover compared with February.
Consumption has been low because of poor macroeconomic conditions, which have limited consumer purchasing power. The end-use non-premium automotive and fibre sectors have been most heavily affected.
Premium automotive demand remains strong because of exports to Asia fuelled by upward social mobility. Overall, automotive demand is weak and has been estimated by market sources at around 15% lower in Q1 2013 than in Q1 2012.
The majority of sources said that despite the approach of the peak-season for automotives and fibre, an earlier than usual Easter holiday period has meant that there is yet to be an increase in demand.
Nevertheless, one capro seller connected to the premium automotive industry said that it’s order book volume in April 2013 is 25% higher than the average monthly volume for 2012.($1 = €0.78)
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