The ICIS Polycarbonate report is published weekly in Asia, Europe and the US and monthly in CIS. These reliable and trustworthy reports can help industry players to keep abreast of the latest news and make informed business decisions.
The price assessments largely focus on general purpose (GP) moulding and GP extrusion grades and cover spot or contract, depending on the region. Market intelligence comprises of regional overviews, upstream news, graphs and production updates.
Updated to Q2 2019
Polycarbonate (PC) markets in northeast Asia were undermined by a persistent supply overhang, following expansions in capacity. The US-China trade war hampered China’s demand for imported material across most grades of PC, exacerbated by brimming inventories. Chinese domestic markets faltered amid plentiful PC resin stockpiles.
Dwindling import demand across most grades of PC in northeast Asia outlets generated downward pressure on spot prices during the later part of the second quarter. The bearish market climate was exacerbated by brimming supply availability following expansions in capacity in China. Market participants were cautious about making imports, which proved uneconomical due to the weakening of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar. Chinese domestic markets of GP moulding-grade PC weakened.
Polycarbonate (PC) supply was lengthy at the beginning of the second quarter. Weak demand in China limited export potential, and disinterested buyers in Europe did little to absorb the glut of domestic material. Low prices made it harder for suppliers selling imports to compete on price. The availability of material in Europe became more apparent, as the lack of export potential continued to trouble producers.
Although the second quarter is typically the strongest time for the European market, demand failed to pick up significantly. April prices for extrusion-grade material continued to fall and stabilised at historic lows in May as further decreases were not expected to stimulate demand. The weak demand in the automotive industry reinforced the lack of appetite for moulding grade PC.
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Polycarbonate (PC) is a type of high specification engineering plastic, suitable for moulding and with a high impact resistance.
Polycarbonate resins are tough thermoplastics with major markets in the electrical/electronic sectors such as computer and business equipment, optical discs, glazing and sheet products and in the automotive construction industries.
Other uses include safety helmets and shields, housing components, household appliances, water cooler bottles, lighting fixtures, sporting goods, and aircraft and missile components.
Polycarbonates are long-chain linear polyesters of carbonic acid and dihydric phenols, such as bisphenol-A (BPA). It is hydroscopic, has only fair chemical resistance and is attacked by many organic solvents.
Polycarbonate is naturally transparent, with the ability to transmit light nearly that of glass. It has high strength, heat resistance, and excellent dimensional and colour stability.
Different grades of the polymer are available and the grades vary by strength, clarity, moulding temperatures, service temperatures and other parameters.
Polycarbonate is also used in compounds or blended with other resins such as acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene (ABS) or polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).
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