Polycarbonate Prices Picks a Bull Run in EU, MEA and Asia, while America Sustains Stability
Polycarbonate Prices Picks a Bull Run in EU, MEA and Asia, while America Sustains Stability

Polycarbonate Prices Picks a Bull Run in EU, MEA and Asia, while America Sustains Stability

  • 14-May-2024 5:17 PM
  • Journalist: Jacob Kutchner

The Polycarbonate (PC) market remained stable across various regions in the initial week of May 2024, reflecting a delicate balance between supply and demand dynamics. In Brazil, PC prices demonstrated stability, largely influenced by the pricing trend observed in the US market, which heavily impacts Brazil's PC imports. Throughout April, prices remained steady in Brazil, although March witnessed a significant 4% increase due to heightened demand from construction and automobile industries in the US, spurred by increased construction activities and diverse PC applications. Challenges in the US supply chain, stemming from the collapse of the Baltimore bridge, affected PC availability, influencing Brazil's market. Additionally, reduced freight rates between Asia and North America reinforced the pricing trend, crucial for Brazil's PC imports.

Similarly, the European PC market saw stable prices in early May, with a minor monthly increase of around 0.5% attributed to rising raw material costs. However, significant reductions in freight costs, exceeding 15%, stimulated trading activities and maintained price stability. Challenges arose in North Europe's freight industry due to adverse weather conditions, holiday closures, and service clashes, leading to congestion at terminals. Key ports like Bremerhaven and Rotterdam sustained operational efficiency, despite expectations of reduced reefer plugs in Rotterdam from June to November. In South Africa, ongoing adverse weather conditions caused delays for cargo bound for North Europe. Conversely, Finland resolved industrial disputes across ports, boosting volumes, especially in southbound shipments, signalling positive developments after labour disputes.

In Saudi Arabia, the PC market witnessed a substantial 4.5% price increase in early May, driven by rising raw material and upstream prices. Despite this surge, demand for PC from downstream industries, notably the automobile sector, remained robust, with accelerating electric vehicle (EV) sales. The beginning of the second quarter saw increased business activity, particularly in wholesale and retail sectors, indicating resilience and growth potential within specific segments of the economy amid broader market fluctuations.

In the first week of May 2024, the PC market in China experienced a increase, mainly driven by the ongoing increase in the domestic bisphenol A market. On a monthly basis the domestic PC market in April first sorted out and then rose. Notable players in China's PC industry, including Liaocheng Luxi Polycarbonate Co Ltd, Pingmei Shenma Carbon Material Company, Sinopec Mitsubishi Chemical Polycarbonate (Beijing) Co., Ltd., and Hainan Huasheng New Materials, executed planned closures, contributing to the constrained supply and reinforcing the bullish momentum in the market. Regarding demand, PC consumption for the month is expected to persist in line with the previous weak pattern, primarily driven by the strategy of maintaining production levels and gradually utilizing inventory as needed.

Overall, while regional markets experienced stable pricing or notable price surges, factors such as supply chain disruptions, fluctuating freight costs, and evolving demand patterns played significant roles in shaping the PC market dynamics in early May 2024.

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