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 2019
Polyacetal (POM) supply did not fluctuate much in the first quarter, as both domestic Chinese and northeast Asian plants operated at unchanged rates. The key China market was well supplied, with both domestic and import prices described to be softer compared to the last quarter of 2018. However, weak demand, rather than healthy supply, was the main reason for lower prices in the past quarter.
POM demand for imported materials in China had already come off in the last quarter of 2018 but did not improve as market players hoped in the new year. In addition, the price gap between imports and domestic products was extremely wide, further eroding the demand for the former. In contrast, demand for domestic material slowly but steadily improved after the Lunar New Year holidays.
European supply of polyacetal (POM) remained balanced early in 2019 amid weak demand. Rising water levels on Rhine in December lifted logistics restrictions which caused Celanese to activate sales controls in late 2018. There has also been a slight increase in production capacity 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.
Demand for POM was generally within or below expectations during the first quarter of the year, following the typical low demand in late 2018 caused by Christmas holidays and end of year destocking. Consumption from the key automotive sector was below expectations, leading to weaker demand for POM.
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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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