10 July 2013 17:30 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Bulked continuous filament (BCF) carpet fibre demand will be 15% lower in July 2013 than the same month last year, according to estimates from the caprolactam (capro) and nylon markets on Wednesday.
BCF fibres are a key downstream market for nylon 6. Capro is the feedstock for nylon 6 and many producers are integrated throughout the polyamide chain.
“Demand is still good for us, in some segments [though] it's weak. [We’re] hearing some customers say minus 15% in July year on year, BCF fibres [is] doing badly,” a producer said
The reduction is not only linked to poor macroeconomic conditions – which have limited construction activity across Europe – but also because of changing fashions in Europe, which are seeing BCF carpets substituted for other flooring types.
As a result, some market players expect the demand reduction to be long-term. In previous years the BCF fibre market has been shielded from the effects of changing tastes in Europe by offtake from the Middle East.
“BCF is down 15% in July. This is a permanent crisis I don't see a time when this will come back... it's a matter of fashion that Europeans are moving to different flooring like wood instead of BCF.
Historically, Europeans could compensate with exports to Middle East, but with expansion there the situation in Europe will become more difficult,” a European producer said.
Nevertheless, additional capacity in the region has reduced the need for imports from Europe.
Some nylon 6 market estimates are expecting a year-on-year fall in demand in July at 5%, with wide variations in demand from individual end-use markets.
Europe nylon 6 buyers are targeting the full upstream July benzene reduction of €67/tonne ($86/tonne) in nylon 6 July contract prices because of weak demand.
($1 = €0.78)
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