17 May 2013 09:52 [Source: ICB]
European nylon 6 and 6,6 April contract prices have finalised at a rollover from March, in spite of a €62/tonne fall in the upstream April benzene contract price and weak April demand, buyers and sellers said on 7 May.
The benzene decrease was not passed through to the nylon market because of the need to restore weak margins throughout the polyamide chain.
Although buyers had initially targeted price reductions, positions shifted once rising benzene spot prices in April made it clear the price fall in the benzene contract price would not be sustainable.
The May benzene contract price finalised at an increase of €64/tonne.
Nylon (or polyamide) 6,6 can be manufactured from adipic acid, which is downstream of benzene, or adiponitrile via butadiene (BD). The April BD contract price was agreed at a rollover from March.
LOW END-USER DEMAND
Demand has been weak because of poor macroeconomic conditions, which have limited consumer purchasing power in the end-use fibre and automotive markets. Demand has been lowest in the carpet market, where some players previously estimated demand at 50% lower in April 2013 than in April 2012. In other downstream industries, this figure was estimated at closer to a fall of 20% by some market players.
Nevertheless, the weak demand in April was in part caused by buyers moving to the sidelines to gain a clearer view on feedstock trends. Demand in May 2013 is currently estimated by market players at broadly the same level as May 2012 consumption.
Nylon 6 virgin polymer April contract prices settled at €2.10-2.22/kg ($2.76-2.92/kg) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). Nylon 6,6 virgin polymer April contract prices settled at €2.75-2.78/kg FD NWE.
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