Plastics Technology

OCT 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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PC PRICES STEADY Polycarbonate prices held flat through the second quarter, and no change was expected through the third quarter. This follows increases of up to 14¢/lb in the first quarter, according to RTi's Kallman. Upward pressure from feedstocks, particularly benzene, were not an issue; and despite an unplanned outage, the market remains relatively well balanced. Kallman also noted that despite planned outages this month and good domestic demand from automotive and construction, inventory buildup would ensure that a balanced market would continue. He saw potential for downward pressure in the fourth quarter from lower-cost Asian imports. "However, polycarbonate is on the list for the next round of tariffs, so this reduction may not materialize," he noted. NYLON 6 TABS RISING; NYLON 66 SPIKES Nylon 6 prices were expected to move up 3-5¢ in August, following a 2¢/lb surcharge in July, attributed by suppliers to a shortage of trucks and drivers, according to RTi's Chesshier, who noted that freight costs rose upwards of 40%. She anticipated upward pricing pressure through September and October, with both BASF and AdvanSix (the former Honeywell nylon 6 business), having issued 5¢/lb price hikes for Sept. 1. In addition to the freight costs, these The Search is Over! All the plastics and additives in the world and the knowledge to select them —and it's all available through the Universal Selector on! • CONTACT SUPPLIERS • GET SAMPLES • DOWNLOAD TECHNICAL DATASHEETS THE RESINS SELECTOR : THE ADDITIVES SELECTOR: search 116,000+ technical datasheets search 38,000+ technical datasheets suppliers attributed their move to tighter supply due to increased demand from processors aiming to switch from nylon 66, along with a tighter caprolactam supply due to unplanned shutdowns. However, because benzene prices have not risen sufficiently, there is potential for only partial implementation. Nylon 66 prices jumped 10-20¢/lb in the third quarter, in addition to the 15-20¢/lb implemented in the first quarter, driven by a very tight global market, according to RTi's Kallman. The seven force majeure actions on intermediates—mostly in Europe—through the first and second quarters, were nearly matched in number by more unplanned outages in the third quarter. "Tightness in intermedi- ates is the key problem," Kallman explained. He cited unplanned production disruptions at key intermediate plants—including precursor ADN (adiponitrile) and derivative HMD (hexamethylene diamine) in France and the U.K., along with other logistical problems such as transportation strikes. In addition, a July fire at Ascend Performance's Pensacola facility led to a force majeure imposed on its nylon 66 resins, compounds and industrial fibers, further tight- ening this market. Industry sources reported that the Ascend plant appeared to have restarted in early August and was being brought gradually up to full production, though the force majeure remained in place. Said Kallman, "People are doing their best to qualify alterna- tive materials." 64 OCTOBER 2018 Plastics Technology YO U R B U S I N E S S Resin Pricing Analy sis

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