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
European nylon year-on-year consumption growth is expected at 3-5% in 2014 because of macroeconomic recovery. Several European engineering plastics producers expect demand to grow in 2014, as they have had increased number of enquiries for new applications. Engineering plastics are a key end-use market for nylon 6 and 6,6, predominantly used in automotive manufacture, but can also be used for other downstream applications such as electronics. The expectation of strong demand in the first quarter of 2014 derived from approaches from new customers at the K2013 plastics fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, for new applications.
The US market is expected to remain stable in the first quarter, in line with typical market conditions during this time of the year. While there was some downward pressure on prices towards end of the fourth quarter last year, it has eased in the new year.
Suppliers are predicting domestic demand to be strong, especially since US auto sales are expected to increase by 1.5m units in 2014. There are indications of tightness in global supply for nylon 6, 6 markets, with consumers in Asia, Europe and US requesting higher-than-normal volumes.
In Asia, market participants are cautiously optimistic on the growth nylon sectors as the global economy picks up. Supply for nylon chips in 2014 will increase with more nylon polymerisation plants starting up and new capacities coming on stream in the year. Traditionally yarn spinning players will vertically integrate to produce nylon chips for captive consumption. Changle Liheng Polyamide Technology will be expanding its nylon chips production by 150,000 tonnes/year at its Changle plant.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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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.