PIE Polymer Price Reports – February 2024

Downward trend for resins has ended / Ongoing weak demand expected to keep hikes in check

Hardly any demand was registered in the composites sector at the start of the month. Order activity only picked up noticeably during the last week of February. With an increase of EUR 40/t, resins thus only reacted to the higher feedstock costs to a limited extent. The main feedstock, styrene, had moved up EUR 190/t, while maleic and phthalic anhydride also firmed slightly, or at least registered a slight increase in demand.

For March, resin producers are aiming for EUR 100-150/t, given that the styrene contract has been fixed higher again – this time by EUR 222/t. In view of the only slight rise in demand so far, however, it is unlikely that they will be able to push through these demands in full. Half the amount, i.e. EUR 60-70/t, would seem to be a more realistic scenario. Demand from end user markets will remain at a modest level to begin with. While converters and distributors are generally expecting increasingly dynamic demand, they are also afraid of prices rising too sharply and causing the delicate little plant to dry out.

Producers are demanding an average of 5-15% for all glass fibre reinforcements. This is unlikely to be attainable in full prior to the turn of the quarter. A rise in quotations in the mid-double-digit range would, however, be conceivable before the end of the month. Direct roving is the exception here, since converters still have very high stock levels and will scarcely have to agree to producers’ demands.

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