Quarterly Update on Global Polycarbonate Market
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
During the third quarter, the Polycarbonate market received firm support from all major industries except automobile and transportation which remained shrouded with uncertainty amid looming demand recovery due to the pandemic. Polycarbonate exports to Asia were heard registering volume growth, driven by surging demand for resins used in protective gears post reopening of several manufacturing sectors. As effects of COVID-19 eased, suppliers noticed a sharp uptick in the material sourcing compared to previous quarter. However, supply was largely disrupted due to maintenance turnarounds, creating potential tightness for the demanded grades, such as extrusion and optical. The Chinese PC reported healthy gains with automotive sector gradually picking up post a double-digit fall in Q2. High feedstock prices further led to unhealthy spreads between BPA and PC for producers. Tracing the inclining trend, the general-purpose PC resin prices matched USD 1900 per MT levels across the Indian markets during Q3.
Sustained demand for electronics and engineering plastics triggered a sharp rise in the American PC demand which started facing supply side issues towards the end of Q3. In September, a major PC producer, Covestro declared force majeure at its 260 KTPA plant located Texas. The situation was exacerbated after Hurricane Laura led to further disruptions in the functioning of production lines. Regional traders found the quarter quite responsive in terms of demand while the US economy was still struggling to bounce back as a large population stayed-at-home, keeping most businesses affected. Commenting upon the pricing delta, margins remained intact with the fall in automotive offtakes largely offset by the buoyant medical plastics demand.
Picking itself up from economic disruptions caused by the COVID-led slowdown, the PC demand in Europe grew higher in the third quarter, driven by improved fundamentals in the construction and medical plastics sector. Russia's overall consumption of PC granules (excluding import-export data from Belarus) rose in January-October 2020 by 21% year on year. Additionally, some players reported that export opportunities in Asia were competitively attractive for European producers while several consuming industries turned back to operations with the exception of automotive sector, which remained pressured under the global slowdown. The quarter ended with news of SABIC and electric utility company Iberdrola entering into a deal to set up the world’s first large scale Polycarbonate facility in Spain, which would run entirely (100 percent) on renewable energy.
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Daily updates on industry-specific and product-specific news, exclusive primary-based news capturing plant shutdowns/outages/closures, capacity expansions, operating rates, insights on demand-supply situation, awarding of technology licenses, new product launch and deals specifying mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments and disinvestments, to help players capitalize on market opportunity.
ChemAnalyst gathers information through primary research surveys conducted with various Polycarbonate manufacturers, spread across the domestic and international market, suppliers and dealers/distributors to gain insights into value-chains and demand-supply scenario to assess the market situation. Thorough study of company’s annual reports and secondary sources such as exhaustive search on credible paid databases, including our internal database is done to verify the information. All the collected information is analyzed, evaluated and presented in chronological order to depict a meaningful and clear picture of the concerned market.
Our dedicated team of industry experts comprehensively monitors and analyzes various aspects of the Polycarbonate market. The team analyzes various industrial segments, strategic viewpoints and provides an analysis of the industry’s performance in the long run. This would enable our clients in efficiently plan their future investments, mitigate risk, understand the cost dynamics and strike out a balance amidst market volatility.
Critical examination of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chains and shift in demand patterns with change in buying behavior of consumers across the globe.
Several ongoing development projects across industries are tracked, followed by the details of major projects in the development stage, which can positively or negatively influence Global Polycarbonate market.
Pricing is captured through exhaustive primary interviews with domestic and international manufacturers, traders and importers and customers on weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
Finally, region-specific markets for Polycarbonate are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.
Polycarbonate, also known as PC resin, is an engineering thermoplastic whose chemical structure contains carbonate groups. PC resins are lightweight with glass-like transparency, available in a variety of transparent and opaque colors and capable of retaining shape even at high or low temperature conditions. Polycarbonate resins are used in applications where excellent strength, heat resistance and toughness are required. Generally, these are formulated into finished parts using injection molding or thermoforming. Polycarbonate (PC) resins have end-markets in the electrical and electronic, construction, aviation as well as the automotive industry. Other consumer applications for PC resins include safety helmets, shields, housing components, water cooler bottles, sporting goods, aircraft and missile components as well as optical media storage. Due to its versatile properties, Polycarbonate is also blended with other engineering plastics to fabricate materials for medical purposes such as ventilators, tube connectors, thermometers, and anesthesia machines. Polycarbonate resins are commercially produced either by interfacial and transesterification or melt processes. In the former, Bisphenol A (BPA) is phosgenated in an aqueous media of Sodium Bisphenolate using Methylene Chloride as an organic solvent. In the melt procedure, BPA reacts with diphenyl carbonate (DPC) in the molten state in the absence of any solvent.