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Updated to Q4 2016
Caprolactam (capro) prices in Asia rose sharply for Q4 2016 on the back of tight supply of the material and higher feedstock benzene prices. Spot prices peaked at $1,640/tonne CFR (cost & freight) northeast Asia in early December after several months of consecutive tight supply.
Limited supply from Europe to Asia and higher benzene prices pushed up prices for capro sold to Taiwan and China. A major capro producer in Taiwan was conducting maintenance at its production lines in November and December, which further shortened the supply in the region.
Domestic prices in China rose sharply too as a result of rising benzene prices and lower plant operating rates because of environmental inspections. The more regular and strictly-enforced environmental inspections forced major producers of upstream cyclohexanone to shut down in north China led to decreased capro supply. In reaction to higher domestic prices, many Chinese buyers began to have enquiries and procure import cargoes more than their Taiwanese counterparts. Demand is healthy mainly because of strong demand in auto industries for nylon chips and garment industries for nylon yarns, which both require capro in their production.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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