Nylon Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS offers trusted and reliable market intelligence for those buying or selling Nylon or related products in the global Nylon market.
Our reporters across Asia, Europe and the US keep in touch with local markets, bringing you price assessments, in-depth news and analysis which you can rely on to guide you in your commercial 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 news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Nylon analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Nylon marketplace.
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Nylon: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
Asia nylon chips market players are bearish on the outlook of the last quarter, as seasonal peak demand ended in September with limited upside in buying activities. Demand remains lacklustre and buyers grow cautious on recent volatile upstream benzene price movements. Most buyers are keeping low raw material inventories, seeking near-term loading materials as high end-product inventories are difficult to digest.
The US nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 markets are expected to remain healthy towards year-end, with strong demand from the downstream automotive, electrical and electronic (EE), as well as consumer and industrial (C&I) markets. The automotive sector typically sees an uptick in the fourth quarter, following a slower third quarter due to plant maintenances in the summer months. Meanwhile, the EE market is usually consistent year-round, while the C&I market is fairly stable with slight downturns during the slower summer months. Most sources viewed the market as relatively steady, with no significant changes in supply or pricing.
European polyamide chain sources are concerned that demand would be flat with the year-end approaching. Demand in September has been limited by uncertainty over upstream cost movements, exchange rates and macroeconomic conditions, causing players to sideline until there is a clearer picture.
Even if demand does not pick up, downstream players are unlikely to ramp up operations with the approach of year-end. Players destock at the end of each year to reduce working capital on year-end balance sheets. An additional 100,000 tonnes/year of nylon 6 capacity due on stream in the next few years will reduce a structural oversupply of 300,000 tonnes/year on caprolactam, at the expense of increasing structural length on nylon 6.
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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.