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
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Nylon: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2015
US nylon market participants have mixed views about the outlook for the first quarter amid optimistic seasonal trends versus bearish sentiment over how low upstream energy values will fall. Some producers said they were seeing good volumes for the first quarter, with some growth over the same period of 2014. However, several distributors said they expect the market to remain soft, mostly because of continued oversupply. Meanwhile, some market sources were not anticipating any significant changes in overall fundamentals, with demand and pricing expected to remain flat.
In Asia, around 590,000 tonnes/year of new nylon chip polymerisation capacity is scheduled to come online in the first half of the year. Ahead of Lunar New Year, smaller nylon chip plants are lowering their operating rates in response to poor yarn demand, while textile manufacturing facilities were heard to be preparing for the reduction of run rates earlier than in previous years. Market outlook is not positive with severe losses in upstream markets.
European nylon expectations of a strong start to 2015 have been thrown into doubt by plummeting benzene and crude oil values in November and December.
Traditionally, January sees strong nylon demand as players restock following inventory reduction to lower working capital on year-end balance sheets. The first quarter of 2015 had been expected to be strong because of empty buyer pipelines. Nevertheless, falling benzene and crude oil prices have limited the ability of nylon players to plan, with many cautious to take on material while values continue to fall.
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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.