HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US polycarbonate (PC) market is facing upward pressure from continued tight supply and higher-priced imports, sources said on Wednesday.
There has already been one price increase nomination, from producer SABIC for 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne) effective late March.
“US prices are lagging international ones,” a distributor said. “That’s abnormal and likely to change.”
Sources said freely negotiated PC pricing is around $1.60-1.70/lb on a DEL (delivered) basis.
Domestic availability for PC is tight from production issues experienced throughout 2017 and less availability of imports.
“The overseas guys aren’t worried about keeping market share,” the distributor said. “Their markets are very strong and much more attractive.”
Sources said they expect most or all of the nomination could find traction, given the supply/demand balance being in a very tight position.
Demand is also starting to increase on seasonal factors related to construction activity.
Sources said no nomination has been heard from domestic PC producer Covestro.
Currently, sources said imported PC from Asia is at a premium of around 20 cents/lb or more to domestic product.
Major US PC producers include Covestro and SABIC Innovative Plastics.
The image below shows sheets made of PC