The Nylon markets are covered by our local ICIS reporters in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis.
Our unbiased and informative commentary gives an overview, details on upstream movements, graphs and intelligence about the different grades. In Asia, spot prices focus on textile grades for fully-drawn yarn, partially oriented yarn, industrial grade and chips. In Europe, Nylon 6, Nylon 6,6 and virgin polymer quotations are published, while in the US, Nylon 6 resin and Nylon 6,6 are assessed. These invaluable and reliable reports will assist you when making key business decisions.
Our editor gives their expert view
Nylon Overview Transcript
Nylon is widely used in the manufacture of hosiery, garments, straps, ropes, filaments, nets and tyre cords.
It is often replaced by cheaper-cost polyester as a synthetic fibre. But demand for nylon remains strong in certain technical niches such as women’s hosiery and intimate apparel, because of its fine deniers, dark colours and durable textures. Tyre cord is also one of nylon’s strongholds.
Currently China is the world’s largest producer, consumer, importer and exporter of textiles.
Downstream demand growth for nylon is gradually concentrating in China and is regarded by many industrial players as the only location where important capacity additions can occur.
China relies heavily on Taiwan’s production capacity, currently importing more than 70% of the nylon chips consumed by it’s domestic nylon yarn market.
Demand is higher during the peak manufacturing season during the spring and autumn.
One of the key price drivers for nylon is the feedstock caprolactam prices which is fundamentally tight.
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Nylon: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2016
Prices of nylon 6 in Asia are expected to firm up in Q2 on firmer feedstock caprolactam (capro) costs. Supply of capro is expected to be tight and producers of nylon are expected to be under increasing pressure to raise offers in order to maintain margins. Supply of nylon 6 is expected to remain balanced in the coming months. Market players expect demand in Q2 to improve, with the quarter traditionally being a peak buying period in the region.
Europe's nylon demand is expected by market players to grow at around 5% annually in the mid-term because of growth from the automotive sector. Nevertheless, the demand growth has been insufficient to overturn the growth in capacity and margins are expected to remain under pressure. The nylon 6 market continues to call for consolidation. Increasingly the battle for market share will come down to players positioning themselves as the technical supplier of choice. Nylon 6,6 supply and demand are expected to remain broadly balanced in the near-to-mid-term.
US producers have asked for price increases over the next few months, but it remains uncertain if they will be accepted in the market. Buyers say that the increases are not necessary, given the supply in the market. Although suppliers have not given a reason for the proposed price increases, it is likely that higher benzene prices could be driving producers to increase margins.
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Nylon, also called polyamide, is used mainly in fibre and engineering polymer applications. The two main nylons are nylon 6, which is made from caprolactam, and nylon 6,6, which is produced from adipic acid.
Nylon fibres are used in apparel such as ladies’ hosiery (stockings), sleepwear and underwear, carpets and home furnishings. Other fibre applications include tyre cord, fishing line, brush bristles and tough fabrics for parachutes, backpacks and luggage.
Nylon engineering resins are employed in automotive parts such as bearings, gears, cams and intake manifolds.
Other applications include industrial machinery and electrical and electronic equipment. Compounding the nylon with reinforcements, fillers, impact modifiers, flame retardants and other additives further enhances its properties to give a wider range of applications.