North American prices for nylon 6 and 6/6 resins as well as for many grades of recycled resins have increased in recent months.
Regional prices for nylon 6 resins are up an average of 5 cents per pounds since Nov. 1, while prices for nylon 6/6 resins have surged 15 cents, according to market sources contacted by Plastics News.
These increases are the result of strong demand from the automotive sector, which bounced back strongly after pandemic-related plant shutdowns in the first half of 2020. Several material producers also have had production issues, including planned or unplanned shutdowns.
"The market for nylon 6 and 6/6 is still fairly tight," one market contact said. "Demand recovered quickly."
"There's a big backlog of orders and producers are trying to restock," the contact added. "I don't think some buyers were ready for it."
Before the recent shortage, nylon 6/6 supplies looked to be improving after severe tightness in 2018. The global nylon 6/6 market experienced 16 production outages in 2017-19.
Ascend Performance Materials of Houston, a major 6/6 supplier, is working to improve the supply chain by adding almost 200 million pounds of annual production capacity for adiponitrile (ADN) feedstock at its plant in Decatur, Ala.
In June, Invista of Wichita, Kan., broke ground on a major new ADN plant in Shanghai. The firm will spend more than $1 billion on the project, which will have annual production capacity of almost 900 million pounds of ADN. The plant is expected to begin production in 2022.