24 September 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Nylon 6,6 September contract prices in Europe have settled at a rollover to a reduction of €0.05/kg depending on feedstock used, buyers and sellers said on Tuesday.
Nylon 6,6 can be produced either using adiponitrile (ADN) via butadiene (BD), or from adipic acid – which is downstream of benzene.
Benzene contract prices are broadly at their July levels. Nevertheless, the BD contract price has fallen dramatically in the past few months, almost halving its value between March and September – with the contract price dropping by €640/tonne.
Nylon 6,6 consumption has outperformed nylon 6. This is because premium automotive demand remains more insulated from the general economic downturn than other end-uses. Premium automobiles represent a higher proportion of total nylon 6,6 consumption than nylon 6.
Nylon 6,6 demand month-on-month has risen by up to 15%, according to market estimates. Nevertheless, this is broadly in line with traditional trading patterns and is lower than expectations for September 2013.
“We have a 15% increase month-on-month in volumes, this is a normal move - nothing special. The market is stable and I will say that it's rather good when you compare it to adipic [acid]. The contract price has slumped by €50 because of the drop in BD. It's between June and August. Actually, in general the cost of polymerisation will reflect the cost of BD two months before,” a producer said.
Nylon 6,6 supply has been tightened by BASF’s force majeure (FM) on nylon 6,6 at its Ludwigshafen plant. BASF declared force majeure on European nylon 6,6 on 7 August, following an incident the previous day at one of its major lines.
The affected capacity could not be confirmed and there was no update on the production situation this week. BASF has a 390,000 tonne/year combined nylon 6 and 6,6 capacity. It produces nylon 6 in Antwerp and Ludwigshafen and nylon 6,6 in Ludwigshafen.
“The only material that's a bit short is nylon 6,6 because BASF was in FM and there's a little less availability of material. They shut down a line in France at end of June, they have created a bit of tightness. I would say demand year-on-year is very similar,” a nylon producer said.
Virgin polymer nylon 6,6 September contract prices finalised at €2.70-2.78/kg FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) .
($1 = €0.74)
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