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.
Updated to Q3 2020
Supply of spot capro in northeast Asia tapered down in Q3 as several regional and international producers conducted plant turnarounds. Operating rates in China were at an average of 70-80% for most of the quarter, as downstream nylon markets saw limited improvement, reducing the incentive for some producers to ramp up their plant operating rates.
Demand was mostly weak in Q3, with the seasonal summer lull for nylon resulting in slow capro trade in Asia. Few deals were done for spot volumes, with key buyers in China and Taiwan relying mostly on domestic supply to meet their needs. Demand picked up towards the end of the quarter, as nylon production was expected to pick up amid the peak season in autumn.
Supply remained ample for most of Q3 even though several producers underwent maintenance or curtailed output in line with slow demand. As downstream industries ramped up output, capro consumption rose between July-September, although it did not rebound back to pre-coronavirus levels. In September, supply became more balanced following an uptick in demand and after several capro plants went into maintenance.
European demand gradually increased in Q3 from the lows caused by coronavirus lockdowns, but it remains far from pre-pandemic volumes. In September, buying interest picked up with greater volumes traded thanks to an uptick in demand for downstream nylon, especially from the automotive industry where a recovery was slow.
We offer the following regional Caprolactam analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Caprolactam marketplace.
News & analysis
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Caprolactam is an intermediate primarily used in the production of nylon 6 fibres and resins. Caprolactam occurs as white, hygroscopic flakes or crystals with a distinctive odour.
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.
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