For the Quarter Ending December 2022
Polyisobutylene prices declined continuously in the USA market throughout the fourth quarter of 2022 owing to sufficient inventory and weak demand dynamics. Consumer sentiment has declined in the region, which has been witnessed by the decline in the Manufacturing Purchasing Index, which dipped below 50 (i.e., 49.7) in November, signifying a contraction in both industrial and manufacturing activity. Meanwhile, cheap imports from Asia weighed down the prices of Polyisobutylene in the regional market. Furthermore, demand from the downstream automotive and allied industries has decreased amid seasonal dullness, supporting the decline in the price realizations of Polyisobutylene in the regional market. As a result, prices of Polyisobutylene CFR Texas were settled at USD 2110/MT during December.
Prices of Polyisobutylene declined consistently in China throughout the fourth quarter of 2022, backed by ample availability and weak demand. Furthermore, the ongoing lockdown measures in major cities amid rising pandemic cases lead to uncertainties in production, operation, and logistics activities. This exerted downward pressure on the end-user demand. Overall, offtake from downstream automotive and other competitive industries has continued to remain on the weak side in the domestic market. Most buyers take a side-line, and purchases were based on a need-to-need basis. Meanwhile, cheap imports from other Asian countries weighed down the prices of Polyisobutylene in the domestic market. According to the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), manufacturing activity has witnessed a sharp decline, and Purchasing manufacturing index (PMI) dropped from 48 to 47in December, compared with the previous month. Thus, in conclusion, prices of Polyisobutylene CFR Qingdao were offered at USD 1910/MT during December.
Polyisobutylene prices constantly dropped in the German market during the fourth quarter of 2022 as downstream demand remained weak while the material availability improved. Meanwhile, the sharp decline in the freight charges from Asia to Europe resulted in better-imported material available in the region. Natural gas prices stabilized in the European market after the upheaval in Q3, which softened the production cost for several commodities, including Polyisobutylene. Meanwhile, demand from the downstream automotive and other competitive industries remained subdued throughout the quarter owing to the sluggish consumer sentiment in the region. In addition, the inflation has eased during Q4. As per the data, inflation dropped from 10.1% to 9.1% in December, compared with the previous month. In conclusion, prices of Polyisobutylene FOB Hamburg were assessed at USD 1830/MT during December 2022.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
During the third Quarter of 2022, Polyisobutylene prices showcased a fluctuation in the North American region. In the initial and mid of the third Quarter, the Polyisobutylene price gained upward momentum in the USA. High production costs amid soaring energy prices coupled with a high inflation rate contributed to the Polyisobutylene price increase across the regional market. However, the speculation of recession across the USA has slumped the demand from the downstream automotive and other allied industries towards the second half of the Quarter. Thus, Polyisobutylene prices shifted towards a downward trend during the end of Q3, bolstered by adequate inventories coupled with weak demand from the downstream industries. The automotive industry's performance has been underwhelming during Q3 of 2022; thus, the demand for Polyisobutylene has remained weak throughout the Quarter. Meanwhile, freight charges from the Asia Pacific region to US West Coast declined sharply. Hence, as of result, prices of Isobutylene CFR Texas were USD 2262/MT with a monthly decline of 2.5% during September.
Polyisobutylene prices have shown a see-saw trend in the Asia- Pacific region throughout the third Quarter of 2022. During July and August, prices of Polyisobutylene have witnessed an upward trajectory in the Chinese market, backed by a reduced rate of supplies and a disrupted supply chain. In addition, the inventory level was average as the rate of supplies was reduced from the exporting countries, mainly South Korea. Also, Chinese ports were congested, berths were delayed, and vessels were clustering, which resulted in the limited availability of the product across the regional market. In contrast, demand from the downstream automotive industries has been stable to weak amid the slowdown in China's economy. Towards the end of Q3, prices dropped by 4.3%, supported by sufficient stockpiles in the region. Besides, limited queries from the downstream automotive industries have further led to the price drop of Polyisobutylene. As a result, prices of Polyisobutylene CFR Qingdao were assessed at USD 2148/MT during September.
Prices of Polyisobutylene have shown mixed sentiments in the European market during the third Quarter of 2022. During the initial and mid of Q3, Polyisobutylene prices have increased, supported by the limited availability of the product. In addition, the domestic cost of production remains elevated due to soaring energy and operating costs, resulting in weak output rates. Although, demand from the downstream automotive and other allied industries has slumped amid high inflation rates. However, during the end of Q3, Polyisobutylene prices dropped by 3.2% owing to the sufficient inventory level and weak demand from the downstream industries. Furthermore, cheap imports from the Asian and North American regions have led to the price drop in Polyisobutylene. In contrast, port congestions in several European ports amid labor unrest and low Rhine river water level have worsened the supply chain hampering regional and international trade. Hence, as a result, prices of Polyisobutylene FOB Hamburg were assessed at USD 2004/MT during September 2022.
The overall market outlook of Polyisobutylene showed an upward trend in Q2 of 2022 across the North American region. In the USA market, the prices of Polyisobutylene have continued to rise due to the rising raw material coupled with Supply disruption. In addition, Demand fundamentals have been buoyant throughout the region as downstream tire industries strive to maintain the balance. However, supply dynamics in the country were disturbed due to high input costs, which led the manufacturer to raise the price of materials for domestic and international converters. Furthermore, global inflation has caused Polyisobutylene prices to rise further. Since the USA majorly imported Polyisobutylene, high freight charges and transportation fuel have further supported the domestic market's price increase. As a result, prices of Polyisobutylene CFR Texas were quoted at USD 2240/MT with a month-on-month inclination of around 1.4%, compared with the previous month.
During Q2 of 2022, Polyisobutylene showed positive market sentiments in the Asia- Pacific region on the back of the limited availability and high demand. On the raw material front, high Isobutylene cost has the other facts for the price rise across the regional market. Additionally, China's manufacturing activity grew faster, maintained by a strong output rebound as pandemic restrictions were lifted, sending factories racing to meet recovering demand. Despite this, high inflationary pressure further aided the enhanced prices of Polyisobutylene. The manufacturer had restricted choice, and consumers must pay inflated prices to secure the material. Overall, demand from the downstream tire industries has remained robust in Q2. Hence as of June 2022, Polyisobutylene prices CFR Qingdao are assessed at more than USD 2180 per MT in China.
Continuing the Russia and Ukraine crisis has been unable to relent, resulting in rising commodities prices across several European regions. The petrochemical market has been volatile since the beginning of the geopolitical tension between Russia- Ukraine. In addition, upstream Crude oil prices have been significantly volatile, resulting in uncertainty in the downstream derivatives, including raw materials. Polyisobutylene prices have been gaining continuously in the German market on the back of the limited supply across the regional market. On the raw material front, Isobutylene prices have increased the cost pressure on Polyisobutylene. Meanwhile, the demand for Polyisobutylene has slowed as uncertainty around the ongoing conflict in Europe grows further. As a ripple effect, prices of Polyisobutylene FOB Hamburg were assessed at around USD 2000per MT throughout June.