The Caprolactam price reports are published weekly in Asia and Europe.
The independent pricing assessments cover spot and contract business, while the news and analysis provides an overview of market conditions, plus the impact on prices from demand/supply issues and upstream/downstream movements. The market intelligence in these reports provides you with a trusted reference which enables you to make informed and confident decisions.
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Caprolactam news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Caprolactam analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Caprolactam marketplace.
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Caprolactam: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2018
Supply is likely to decrease with turnarounds expected in the key markets of China and Taiwan. Taiwan’s China Petrochemical Development Corporation (CPDC) will shut its Toufen plant for a scheduled maintenance on 16 April. This is expected to last until mid-May.
Demand is expected to be strong throughout much of Q2 as buyers look to ramp up the manufacture of downstream nylon 6 for the traditional peak in seasonal demand. Market players are, however, concerned about the decreasing price gap between caprolactam and nylon 6, and a potential tapering in demand if the gap continues to fall.
Some sellers expect supply in Europe to decrease slightly in Q2 due to planned turnarounds over the May-June period. If the turnarounds and inventory building go according to plan the impact on supply could be limited. As demand in the downstream nylon 6 market tends to soften in the latter half of Q2, any tightness from the turnarounds could potentially be mitigated.
Demand in Europe is expected to soften in the latter half of Q2 as buying appetite in the downstream nylon 6 market tends to drop slightly over the summer. This trend hardly made any impact last year, so a decrease in demand is far from certain.
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Caprolactam occurs as white, hygroscopic flakes or crystals with a distinctive odour. It is soluble in water, cyclohexane, chlorinated hydrocarbons and is usually used, stored and transported in liquefied form at about 80oC.
Caprolactam is an intermediate primarily used in the production of nylon 6 fibres and resins. Nylon 6 fibres are made into textile, carpet and industrial yarns.
Nylon resins are noted for their performance properties including high tensile strength, excellent abrasion, chemical and heat resistance. They are the basis of engineering plastics, used in electronic and electrical components and automobiles, and oriented polyamide films used widely in food packaging.
Conventional caprolactam technology is based on the key intermediate cyclohexanone, which is usually produced by the oxidation of cyclohexane. Cyclohexanone is then reacted with hydroxylamine sulphate to produce cyclohexanone oxime. This is followed by a Beckmann rearrangement using oleum to yield caprolactam.