Styron seeks to raise Dec polycarbonate prices on squeezed margins
London (Platts)--21Nov2012/740 am EST/1240 GMT
Styron plans to increase polycarbonate prices in Europe by Eur230/mt
($294/mt) in December due to squeezed margins, it said in a statement
"Following the elevation in costs of the key raw materials associated
with the production of Calibre and Emerge as well as a decline in
polycarbonate pricing over the past few months, PC margins have eroded
steadily," Styron polycarbonate product manager Nicolas Joly said.
"This is at a time when we continue to see demand for PC growing at a
steady pace in the global market. With margins well below acceptable levels
in Europe, this increase is essential to move returns back towards minimum
sustainable levels," Joly added.
Joly wouldn't comment on the outright price planned for December.
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Platts does not assess polycarbonate prices but, since the beginning of
the year, phenol spot prices -- one of the principle feedstocks used in the
production of polycarbonate -- have increased by Eur305/mt to be assessed at
Eur1,290/mt FD NWE.
However, at the same time, NWE monthly benzene contract prices -- the
principle feedstock used in the production of phenol and bis-phenol A -- have
increased by Eur361/mt to Eur1,032/mt FD NWE, according to Platts data.
In general, global demand for polycarbonate products has been stunted by
the weak economy and the eurozone crisis and weak demand. This pressure has
kept a lid on prices and weakened margins, sources said.
One phenol producer this week described the state of the polycarbonate
and epoxy resins market as "miserable," adding: "We are in a scenario of low
domestic demand and no exports to China. When you connect the dots, it is not
difficult to figure out what the state of the industry is."
Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer that is used in the production
of automotive, electronic, automotive, aircraft and security components.
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