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 Q1 2021
Supply of nylon 6 in Asia remained low in Q1, amid a severe lack of key feedstock caprolactam. Producers in Taiwan had no choice but to keep operating rates low and had limited volumes to offer as a result. In the Chinese domestic markets, supply was also lower amid reduced run rates.
Demand for nylon in Q1 was stable, as buyers were keen to replenish low inventories. Several producers experienced a larger number of enquiries as compared to Q4 2020, but noted that deal volumes remained lower-than-usual, partly attributed to the overall lower supply.
Nylon 6 supply was tight to short in places and nylon 6,6 became extremely short by the end of Q1. There were several ongoing force majeures and certain grades and compounds were much more difficult to source than others. Following the US winter storm, the options for imported material became scarce and a global shortage of glass fibres was having an adverse effect on glass filled nylons and high viscosity material was also very short.
Downstream demand was strong across all nylon applications during Q1, from automotive, through construction, packaging, appliances and electronics with yarns and textile grades also broadly stable. Both the nylon 6 and 6,6 markets were far from balanced with nylon 6,6 more obviously short earlier on and nylon 6 also tightening further by the end of the first quarter.
Supply has remained very tight due to plant outages, feedstock supply disruptions and strong demand. Several producers have declared force majeure on nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 due to outages caused by the mid-February polar storm. Shortages of glass fibre, adiponitrile and adipic acid have contributed to difficulties in nylon production. The supply tightness has led to a number of separately introduced price increase initiatives by producers.
Domestic nylon demand remains healthy, including for construction, packaging, appliances and electronics. Automotive demand continues to be affected by computer chip and other product shortages as more vehicle plants announced production cutbacks. The auto cutbacks have yet to have a significant impact on nylon.
We offer the following regional Nylon analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Nylon marketplace.
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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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