• PT Youtube
  • PT Facebook
  • PT Linkedin
  • PT Twitter
10/18/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Commodity Engineering Resin, Consumption Shifts to Asia

Originally titled 'Commodity Engineering Resin Production, Consumption Shifts to Asia'
Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Supply/demand in balance for PC, nylon 66; overcapacity looms large for ABS, nylon 6.

Related Suppliers



Supply/demand in balance for PC, nylon 66; overcapacity looms large for ABS, nylon 6.


A mixed bag reflects the market outlook for the four large-volume commodity engineering resins—ABS, PC, nylon 6 and nylon 66. At this year’s Global Plastics Summit (GPS 2016), co-hosted by IHS Markit and SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. Paul Blanchard (pictured) IHS Markit’s senior director for engineering plastics tackled this subject. Here’s a look at key takeaways from his presentation.



• Global ABS demand needs to catch up to capacity additions.

• Lower prices can be had from North American suppliers.

• ABS consumption is mainly in Asia—83%.

• Asian ABS suppliers are selling at near variable breakeven cost.

• Capacity overhang in key Asian market restrains operating rates and profit margins.

• Global prices to remain under downward pressure.

• Supply/demand balance will improve with modest demand growth.



• PC rationalization of plants in the U.S., Singapore, Japan and Brazil reset the supply/demand balance in 2016. This, from the overcapacity of 2011-12.

• Tighter supply allows PC suppliers to recover cost increases in the near term.

• North American PC operating rates are pretty high; suppliers gain margin for near term.

• Entry of new Chinese companies is a game-changing development.


Nylon 6

• Nylon 6 fiber continues to be “king”, accounting for 66% of consumption.

• China now producing 58% of nylon fiber globally, with most consumption in Asia.

• China’s drive for self-sufficiency is adding capacity well ahead of global demand; this impacts trade patterns.

• Falling exports to Asia are reducing operating rates in North America and Europe.

• Caprolactam plant closures in U.S. and Germany are removing excess capacity.

• Pricing for nylon 6 pricing rising in North America and expected to fall in Asia.


Nylon 66

• Global demand for Nylon 66 is balanced and well managed—so far new capacity is tracking demand.

• Operating rates for nylon 66 are in the 80s% range vs. nylon 6 which are at a dismal 60% range.

• Closely-held adiponitrile technology supports high industry concentration; technology barriers to new entrants.

• Performance overlap with nylon 6 in engineering applications.

• Startup of Invista Shanghai plant in 2016 offset by the closure of Invista Chattanooga plant.

• Price trend is upwards.