Rollover domination a surprise / Market dead as a doornail / Transactions almost non-existent / Business expected to pick up in September / Heavy price pressure prevails
Somewhat surprisingly, European engineering thermoplastic prices in August were in the majority of cases carried over from July. This was due less to a balanced market situation than to a kind of deadly quiet on the markets. Especially in the automotive sector, there was virtually no life at all. Producers would not have been able to tempt buyers out of their slumber even with price cuts. With the lack of business, prices froze at the levels of the quarterly agreements. The few segments in which there was any movement at all â€“ above all PBT, POM and partly PMMA â€“ followed the general rollover trend.
It could well be that the period of calm will come to an end in September because, despite the depressed mood, there will be some topping-up measures after the long holiday break. Many players have said goodbye to any thoughts of an improvement before 2019 ends. Generally, a continuation of the gloomy economy is expected.
The high stock levels are a worry for suppliers. Should demand continue so slow, some will certainly think about stimulating business with price cuts. At the same time, producers are becoming caught in a quandary because the costs of the aromatic base materials have been rising for several months. For this reason, many of them will resist making significant price cuts. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the heavy pressure on prices will continue. Negotiations for Q4 are beginning, and customers will definitely be unwilling to take a back seat.