The price of prime Caprolactam (Capro) is finally starting to soften in the Asian market. Over the past two weeks we have seen Capro soften in price by $200/MT, and the price has continued to soften even more this week as well. Last week Capro was selling in China in the $3430/MT price range and falling. I have just returned from spending the past two weeks in China traveling to see our Nylon 6 customers, and the Asian market is definitely starting to show signs of slowing. The slowdown in Asia is being caused by a combination of the following factors. One the China Government is tightening credit in the private sector by increasing the interest rate that their Banks are now charging. The Second factor contributing to the current slowdown is that China Government has increased the cash reserve that the local Banks must hold, which is making it harder for some of our customers to access the funds that they have on deposit that is used to pay their normal operating expenses. The third factor is that the current feedstock and material price increases are supply driven and not demand driven, so most of our customers have just simply stopped buying material.
The recent Capro / Nylon 6 (PA-6) price increases are being driven by the plastic traders/brokers speculating on the PA6 market price continuing to go up month after month. I think that speculative profit taking without sales being driven by demand is over for the time being. Anyone that has product on the water to Asia should get ready for a downward price adjustment. Based on the Capro supply disruption from the tsunami in Japan, and the fact that Honeywell’s Capro plant in VA has been down for almost a month, you would think that both Capro and PA6 prices would continue to rise. But they are not, Capro / PA6 prices are actually starting to soften even with the current supply outages that I previously mentioned. Based on the current soft market conditions get ready for additional price softening for both products.
Basic chemicals and feedstocks are softening across the board in China. This should lead to all plastic material prices softening in the Asian markets. I cannot speak about what is going to happen with material prices in the USA, because our domestic supply is being manipulated by the US polymer producers keeping supply tight in this country. I realize that by only having a few large producers for each type of polymer those markets will achieve a better economy of scale, but the down side is once they start manipulating (tightening) supply we are all paying higher prices for the goods that we are buying. Unfortunately the capital investment that it takes to enter into the chemicals market is so great don’t expect to see any new players in our domestic basic chemicals markets in the near future. Personally I thought this is what we had anti-trust laws for in America.
That is why I say, that as much as we like to hate Asian suppliers it will be cheaper plastic from the Middle East and China that will finally bring true competitiveness back into the USA polymer markets. Why is prime PP selling in China for $.63/lb. at this time, when the price in the USA for the same prime PP material is well above $.90/lb.? Please feel free to send me an email and tell me if I am wrong.
Nylon 66 Bright w/HS Wide Spec Pellets
Nylon 66 Semi Dull Wide Spec Pellets
Nylon 66 Dull Second Quality Pellets
Nylon 66 Off-GradeTextile Bright Pellets
Nylon 66 Off-grade Pellets w/ up to .02% TiO2
Nylon 66 Mixed Color Regrind
Nylon 66 Bright Regrind from Lump/Chunk
Nylon 66 Semi Dull / Mixed Luster Regrind
Prime Nylon 6 Pellets 2.7 RV – Natural
Packaged in 1,500# boxes
PA6 Kettle Bottoms
PA6 Capro Residue
PA6 Solidified Oligomer Waste
Call for MOQ and current material prices
Aged / Obsolete Virgin Pellets
Wide Specification, Off-grade Pellets
Clean uniform plastic regrinds
Nylon Fiber Bales
Please feel free to contact me at: JamesGubera@dualloy.com
See us on Facebook at the following pages: