LONDON (ICIS)--European nylon 6 (or polyamide 6) demand in January is up to 5% above January 2012 levels, according to market estimates on Tuesday, because of restocking, pre-buying and rising offtake from the downstream automotive sector.
Upstream benzene spot prices reached record highs in the week ended 17 January, and although benzene spot prices decreased by $60/tonne by noon on 21 January, polyamide chain buyers are pre-buying material in anticipation of February upstream contract price rises. Players estimated that up to 60% of current demand could be linked to pre-buying activity.
Restocking in January is typical following inventory reductions in December aimed at lower working capital on year-end balance sheets.
Automotive demand is strengthening because of positive macroeconomic conditions, sources said. Fibre demand remains weak, the majority of players said.