05 November 2013 18:52 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Some participants in the European polyacetal (POM) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) markets on Tuesday expressed mixed views on demand for the first quarter of 2014.
POM and PBT are types of engineering plastics that are used heavily in the automotive sector.
Some producers expressed optimism that demand for engineering plastics in Europe would be stable or slightly higher in the first quarter, with buying activity sustained by orders from European carmakers, especially from ?xml:namespace>
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, citing Eurostat data, said car exports from the EU to the rest of the world increased to over 3m units in the first half of 2013 from 2.88m in the first half of 2012.
Some players have also expressed optimism that demand would rise amid an expected growth of the European economy next year.
On Tuesday, the European Commission said that real GDP growth for the EU is expected to be flat this year compared with last year, but a growth of 1.4% is expected in 2014. However, the commission warned about high unemployment levels in the EU, with the forecast jobless rate this year of 11.1% expected to fall only marginally next year to 11%.
Newer car models are expected to be designed and fitted with more plastics, creating conditions for higher demand for PBT, producers have said.
Nevertheless. a reseller with several car-maker customers in Spain, Italy and Portugal - markets in southern Europe hit hard by the financial crisis - said it expects demand to fall by 1-5% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter.
“I don’t understand the growth forecast that they [European Commission] are talking about. People are still cautious when it comes to buying cars,” the buyer said.
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