Polycarbonate Prices, markets & analysis
If you buy or sell Polycarbonate or related products, you need up-to-date global pricing data and the background information to help you understand it.
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Our editor gives their expert view
Polycarbonate Overview transcript
Polycarbonate is a type of high-specification engineering plastic. Its major markets are in the electronic sectors such as: computers and business equipment, optical media, glazing sheet products and in the automotive industry.
Polycarbonate is naturally transparent, has high strength, toughness, heat resistance and excellent dimensional and colour stability.
The raw material for polycarbonate is bisphenol-A or BPA.
China is the largest importer and user of th resin in Asia given its huge manufacturing base. The market is fast-moving and is over supplied.
The spot market is active and liquid with major sellers from Korea, Taiwan, Japan southeast Asia, the US and Europe.
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Polycarbonate news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Polycarbonate analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polycarbonate marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Polycarbonate
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Polycarbonate
Track historical price data
News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Polycarbonate
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Polycarbonate: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
US polycarbonate (PC) market participants are not anticipating any significant impact from the recent shutdown of Dow Chemical's Freeport plant in Texas and Bayer's decision to spin off its MaterialScience business. Bayer's decision is unlikely to change market fundamentals in the short term because its plastics unit is not being shut down, but rather floating as a separate business.
Major supplier Styron, which sources PC from Dow, is exiting the PC commodity business in North America and production at its plant has halted. The closure is expected to have little impact on the market as PC capacity is still very high and Styron will continue providing some grades for compounding and engineering plastics from its European operations. Demand is expected to remain steady, although it remains to be seen whether falling feedstock costs and competitive pricing from suppliers overseas will put downward pressure on US prices.
The consensus of opinion in the European PC market, although this is not shared by all participants, is that demand will be steady to good in the fourth quarter. Some players have talked of annual growth in consumption of 5-7% for 2014. It is unclear whether producers will be able to achieve price increases as the market still appears to be rather oversupplied.
In Asia, market participants expect slight increases in PC prices in October before being moderated towards the year end. Major PC producers continue to target price hikes after enduring sharp declines in margins following a surge in feedstock bisphenol A (BPA) prices. However, their gains are expected to be capped as market players expect demand to be stable-to-soft in the fourth quarter. The market remains oversupplied, although recent cutbacks in operating rates by several major PC producers have limited the availability of cargoes.
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Polycarbonate news & analysis
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Polycarbonate resins are tough thermoplastics with major markets in the electrical/electronic sectors such as computer and business equipment, optical discs, glazing and sheet products and in the automotive construction industries.
Other uses include safety helmets and shields, housing components, household appliances, water cooler bottles, lighting fixtures, sporting goods, and aircraft and missile components.
Polycarbonates are long-chain linear polyesters of carbonic acid and dihydric phenols, such as bisphenol-A (BPA). It is hydroscopic, has only fair chemical resistance and is attacked by many organic solvents.
Polycarbonate is naturally transparent, with the ability to transmit light nearly that of glass. It has high strength, heat resistance, and excellent dimensional and colour stability.
Different grades of the polymer are available and the grades vary by strength, clarity, moulding temperatures, service temperatures and other parameters.
Polycarbonate is also used in compounds or blended with other resins such as acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene (ABS) or polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).