The Nylon markets are covered by our local ICIS reporters in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis.
Our unbiased and informative commentary gives an overview, details on upstream movements, graphs and intelligence about the different grades. In Asia, spot prices focus on textile grades for fully-drawn yarn, partially oriented yarn, industrial grade and chips. In Europe, Nylon 6, Nylon 6,6 and virgin polymer quotations are published, while in the US, Nylon 6 resin and Nylon 6,6 are assessed. These invaluable and reliable reports will assist you when making key business decisions.
Updated to Q2 2021
Supply of nylon 6 in Asia remained short in Q2, amid a persistent lack of feedstock capro in northeast Asia. Producers in Taiwan were particularly hard-hit, as several suppliers of deep-sea capro were unable to offer spot cargoes amid a shortage in Europe, which contributed to the lower supply of nylon to Taiwan. In the Chinese domestic markets, supply was reduced as several producers cut operating rates to manage high stock levels.
Demand for nylon fell in late Q2, with producers noting a higher number of spot enquiries earlier in the quarter and fewer spot enquiries at the end of Q2 as demand waned amid the typical lull. In the Chinese domestic markets, demand was largely stable, with spot trade tapering off in June.
Nylon 6 was tight and nylon 6,6 was in very short supply in Q2. Sourcing sufficient volumes remained challenging for many buyers due to force majeures in both nylon 6 and 6,6, caused by persistent feedstock shortages, scheduled maintenance turnarounds at two upstream capro producers in Europe and technical problems at DOMO’s capro plant in Leuna, Germany, in June.
Demand for both nylon 6 and 6,6 was stable in Q2 and clearly outweighed supply. Buying interest was good across many major nylon consuming industries such as automotive, construction, packaging, appliances and electronics. Demand from yarns and textile applications slowed slightly in early Q2 due to peaking price levels, but buying interest picked up again at the end of the quarter.
Supply was very tight throughout Q2 because of lingering outages and supply disruptions caused by the mid-February polar storm that hit the US Gulf Coast. Nylon 6,6 was extremely tight due to shortages of ADN, HMD and adipic acid. Capro outages impacted production of nylon 6. Several plants declared force majeure on both nylon 6 and 6,6. Several nylon 6 producers separately instituted price-increase initiatives.
Demand remained strong from a variety of sectors throughout the quarter, including automotive, construction, household appliances and electronics. Automotive demand was strong for nylon 6,6 despite the computer chip shortage that curtailed vehicle production. Nylon 6,6 is particularly valued in auto for its heat resistance and durability. The surging home construction sector boosted nylon 6, which is used in carpet. Buyers faced sales controls and long lead times throughout the quarter.
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Nylons are one of the most common polymers used as a fibre. Another name for this material is polyamide, due to the characteristic amide groups in the backbone chain.
Nylon, also called polyamide, is used mainly in fibre and engineering polymer applications. The two main nylons are nylon 6, which is made from caprolactam, and nylon 6,6, which is produced from adipic acid.
Nylon fibres are used in apparel such as ladies’ hosiery (stockings), sleepwear and underwear, carpets and home furnishings. Other fibre applications include tyre cord, fishing line, brush bristles and tough fabrics for parachutes, backpacks and luggage.
Nylon engineering resins are employed in automotive parts such as bearings, gears, cams and intake manifolds.
Other applications include industrial machinery and electrical and electronic equipment. Compounding the nylon with reinforcements, fillers, impact modifiers, flame retardants and other additives further enhances its properties to give a wider range of applications.
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