The ICIS Polyacetal (POM) report is published weekly in Asia. In Europe POM falls under the Engineering Plastics report and includes Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) prices.
Price assessments cover contracts in Europe and spot in Asia and this unbiased independent intelligence is supported by commentary about demand, supply, production issues and graphs. This news and market analysis is an invaluable resource for market participants to refer to when making those crucial business decisions.
Updated to Q2 2019
Polyacetal (POM) supply in the second quarter was constant as subdued demand from downstream players and weakening prices of alternative plastics weighed down on prices more. A couple of Chinese plants had turnarounds last quarter but did not manage to support prices. Northeast Asian producers who previously had issues meeting demand could only adjust their export prices in line with domestic Chinese prices.
Downstream demand, which were already weak in the first quarter, further softened in the second quarter after the US-China trade war escalated. Due to the bearish economic outlook and threats of sanctions, many downstream buyers curbed their purchases and bought on a need-to basis. By the end of the quarter, sellers reported improved demand after buyers adjusted to the trade war escalations but competition from other plastics forced POM sellers to lower their prices.
Supply of polyacetal (POM) was balanced throughout the second quarter of the year amid weak demand. Production capacity has slightly increased compared with 2018 as BASF’s new 70,000 tonnes/year joint venture with Kolon Plastics in Gimcheon, South Korea has replaced the company’s previous 55,000 tonnes/year unit at Ludwigshafen, Germany. Logistics issues have not affected the European market, despite increased import activity.
Demand for POM has remained weak throughout the second quarter. Limited demand has been attributed to lower consumption from the key downstream automotive sector. The automotive industry has been impacted by wider economic factors and uncertainty caused by political issues including the UK’s anticipated exit from the EU and US-China trade tensions.
We offer the following regional Polyacetal analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polyacetal marketplace.
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Polyacetal or POM is a crystalline plastic often used for technical applications due to its strength, ductility (ability to be drawn into threads without breaking) and good machinability. Its properties make it suitable for click connections (e.g. bicycle lamp holders). The material is known for its stiffness, strength and hardness up to 120ºC, and is as elastic as many metals. It is wear resistant and has a very low friction coefficient. The colour is opaque white, and carbon black can be added to protect the product from UV-light.
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