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 Q1 2021
Domestic supply in China remained largely flat in Q1 as local plants were running normally with no major plant turnarounds. Supply in other northeast Asian regions such as Japan and South Korea continued to be tight, while supply from southeast Asia dropped further as a Japanese producer’s plant in Malaysia was shut from late February to early March due to technical issues.
Overall demand in northeast and southeast Asia picked up in Q1 due to the recovery in the key downstream automotive sector. Demand in most countries were gradually recovering from the aftermath of the strict lockdown restrictions last year, with automotive sales having seen an improvement. Demand from Europe for Asian products was relatively strong due to tight supply in Europe.
At the beginning of Q1, supply changed from being sufficient to tight mainly in the spot market, with contractual agreements facing no issues. This trend continued for the rest of the quarter, partly due to issues with raw material methanol. Exerting further pressure on supply was lower volumes of imports from Asia due to a shortage of product in the region, logistical issues and price differentials reducing.
Demand was in general strong and stable throughout Q1. This was supported by end-user markets, including the automotive and healthcare industries. There were positive macroeconomic signs following the rollout of vaccines in Europe and a relaxation in lockdowns in some countries. Stock replenishment influenced demand, as levels were considered to be low, with the uncertain market conditions encouraging activities to avoid any complications like those of last year.
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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