PC prices rebound as nylon drops

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: January 31, 2013 5:09 pm ET
Updated: January 31, 2013 5:15 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Nylon 6/6, Suppliers, Materials Suppliers

AKRON, OHIO -- North American prices for polycarbonate and nylon resins traveled different roads in the fourth quarter of 2012, with PC prices climbing 3 percent and nylon prices declining by a similar amount.

The PC move equals a gain of 5 cents per pound on general-purpose grades used in injection molding. PC prices had dipped 4 percent in mid-2012, but rebounded as supply tightened and prices for benzene feedstock increased, market sources said.

Fourth-quarter PC supplies tightened as Sabic Innovative Plastics had a maintenance shutdown at its plant in Mount Vernon, Ind., and Bayer MaterialScience LLC did the same at its plant in Baytown, Texas. Those two plants account for almost 60 percent of North American PC capacity, according to IHS Chemical, a consulting firm in Houston.

In the benzene market, prices topped $5 per gallon for the first time in January, with contract prices settling at $5.16. Benzene prices now are up almost 23 percent since September. Spot benzene prices were falling in mid-January, possibly lessening the impact of that material on future PC pricing.

U.S. PC makers also benefited from increased export sales in the first seven months of 2012. Exports of PC from the U.S. grew 12 percent in that period, including an increase of almost 30 percent in PC exports to China.

Looking ahead, industry contacts said that PC demand could benefit from ongoing strength in the North American auto sector, and from a rebound in sales of appliances and electronic devices.

For nylon, the fourth-quarter decrease amounts to a drop of 6 cents for both nylon 6 and 6/6 resins. Although North American demand has improved as the number of auto builds has steadily increased to approach pre-recession levels, sources said that oversupply — particularly in nylon 6/6 — has served to keep prices down. Automotive uses account for 50 percent of North American nylon 6/6 demand and 35 percent of the region's nylon 6 demand, according to IHS.

Imports of nylon resin into the U.S. also increased 22 percent in the first seven months of 2012. Imports of nylon from Germany and Japan each grew more than 50 percent during that period. At the same time, exports of nylon from the U.S. to other countries fell by 3 percent in those seven months, causing more material to be available in the domestic market.

From 2012-17, global nylon operating rates should be relatively low at 60-70 percent, according to IHS, because of an abundance of capacity being added in China. North America leads the world in production of nylon 6/6, with a 41 percent market share. Northeast Asia is the largest nylon 6 producer, with 58 percent of global production.


Comments

PC prices rebound as nylon drops

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: January 31, 2013 5:09 pm ET
Updated: January 31, 2013 5:15 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Coca-Cola sustainability report highlights PlantBottle usage

October 1, 2014 12:47 pm ET

Coca-Cola Co. has now distributed more than 25 billion PlantBottles since their introduction five years ago.    More

Image

Genova Plastics to spend $4.9 million on new Kentucky plant

October 1, 2014 4:35 pm ET

Vinyl plumbing and building materials maker Genova Plastics of Davison, Mich., will invest $4.9 million to renovate a factory in Paducah, Ky., as...    More

Image

Canadian plastics officials help with shoreline cleanup

October 1, 2014 2:35 pm ET

What's the plastics industry doing about litter? It's a good question, and given the political battles taking place around the world about product...    More

Image

OptiLedge taking Ikea's pallet replacement system to the next level

October 1, 2014 11:49 am ET

OptiLedge LLC is taking Ikea's plastic alternative to the traditional wooden pallet to the next level, making and marketing them globally.    More

Image

Blow molding machinery maker opens first plant in Taiwan

October 1, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Taiwanese equipment maker Kin Precision Industry Co. Ltd. has opened a 2,000-square-meter, 25-employee factory in Taichung, Taiwan, with an eye to con...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events