HOUSTON (ICIS)--BASF has announced a 9 cent/lb ($198/tonne) price increase for its caprolactam (capro) and nylon 6 in North America, effective on 15 July or as contracts allow, a company source confirmed on Thursday.
US contract prices for upstream benzene had established a near-record high in February but had decreased steadily by a total of 61 cents/gal in the recent months.
However, the July benzene contract settled earlier this week at a spike of 80 cents/gal, causing concern in many downstream markets.
Benzene is the feedstock for cyclohexane (CX), which is the precursor for capro in the nylon 6 supply chain.
Reaction regarding the nylon 6 price increase initiative was mixed, with some sources still sceptical because global supply of capro and nylon 6 remained long and because demand for finished product was still soft.
Other sources recognised that the downtrend in benzene prices occurred over a longer period of time than it took for prices to not only move back up but also reach a higher level.
Currently, the ICIS-assessed domestic price for nylon 6 injection moulding grade in bulk is $1.25-1.35/lb.
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