Nylon 6 and 6/6 price hikes take hold

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Tight feedstock supplies have sent North American selling prices for nylon 6 and 6/6 resins surging since Jan. 1.

Average prices for nylon 6 in the region are up 18 cents since the start of the year, with 6/6 prices up 12 cents as well, according to market sources contacted by Plastics News.

BASF Corp., Solvay Group and DuPont Co. each had announced major increases. North American nylon 6 resin prices already had climbed an average of 10 cents per pound in the second half of 2016, due in part to tightness of caprolactam feedstock. BASF in September announced plans to remove more than 200 million pounds of annual caprolactam production in Europe by early 2018.

Higher benzene prices also are putting upward price pressure on nylon resins, market watchers said. Regional benzene prices for February were up 67 cents to $3.34 per gallon, a jump of 25 percent vs. January.

BASF had been the most aggressive price-seeker in the North American market, attempting to raise nylon 6 resin prices a total of 28 cents per pound since Jan. 1. The firm was seeking smaller increases for nylon 6 compounds.

Solvay in February was seeking hikes of 15 cents for nylon 6/6 resins and nylon 6 and 6/6 compounds. Solvay Performance Polyamides President Vincent Kamel said in a news release that his firm had made "considerable efforts" to offset cost pressures since mid-2016.

DuPont Co. on Feb. 2 had announced global price increases of 13-14 cents per pound on all nylon 6/6 resins and compounds effective Feb. 15. In a news release, officials said the increases "are needed as a result of rapidly rising costs of certain key raw materials."