Strong demand for nylon 6 in China is leading market growth for the engineering polymer, says Chemical Market Associates Inc (CMAI), which forecasts global demand to grow at an average annual rate of close to 5% up to 2015. CMAI did not disclose exact figures in its press release for the 2011 World Nylon Engineering Resins Analysis.
It said: “The growth of global nylon 6 demand has been shaped in recent years by the movement of finished goods production to China from North America and the other regions, such that Northeast Asia has become the largest nylon 6 consuming region.”
CMAI noted that China minimized the effects of the recession through economic incentives aimed at stimulating domestic consumer demand for durable goods. “Demand growth in China has been much faster than nylon 6 capacity growth, increasing China’s reliance on a large volume of imported materials,” it said.
Capacity additions around the world are falling “a little short” of the forecast growth in global nylon 6 demand, said CMAI. It expects this to cause a modest rise in plant operating rates over the next five years. Global demand for nylon 66 engineering resin is forecast to grow at an average rate of close to 6% per year up to 2015.
CMAI said it believes that additional capacity will be needed but will be dependent on the availability of intermediate materials.
In 2010, global nylon 66 supply was constrained by raw material supply concerns related to butadiene availability and production issues for key intermediates. But the demand for nylon 66 resin in 2010 was mostly flat, said CMAI, and the gap between demand and capacity is not as large as for nylon 6.
World demand for Nylon 6