Due to the current market conditions and increasing demand, the Nylon 66 supply is expected to be tight for several years to come. You can expect an increase in price anywhere from $.10-$.50/lb depending on the grade.ADN Shortage
Within 8 months, nine force-majeures were declared on nylon 66. The shortage in supply is caused by a lack of adiponitrile (ADN), an ingredient used to make nylon 66. ADN is only manufactured in four large-capacity production plants – three in the US and one in France. The current total capacity and concentration of these plants is insufficient for reliable supply when supply meets demand, let alone in the tight supply conditions we witnessed over the last few years.
Underlying growth in major end uses of nylon such as automotive, industrial fiber and cable ties is driving increased demand for Nylon 66. Demand in these areas is growing more than 3 percent annually. The Auto industry will be affected the most since so many companies are no longer manufacturing parts out of metal. Many auto manufacturers are switching to lighter engineering thermoplastics like nylon.
In the meantime, with high prices and long lead times, supply is only going to tighten. Be proactive and start identifying what markets you are supplying. If you are supplying to the automotive industry you will likely receive resin at a very high purchase price. Be sure to contact your OEM supplier and place orders on a 30/60/90 basis (don’t rely on blanket orders).
If you are supplying non-automotive, you will likely receive very little resin (if any) at an extremely high price. It may be in your best interest to start re-engineering parts in alternative materials and submit them for approval. Many nylon resin buyers will likely turn to prime and/or off-grade 66 or even biobased plastics as a replacement. Many processors using specified materials for their applications may struggle to find replacement materials that fit their applications needs. Some processors might consider switching to nylon 6. Even though this resin has reduced heat resistance, it has a higher impact and better surface appearance. Alternatives may meet cost, performance and/or processability specifications of nylon 66, and help alleviate some of the pressure on ADN shortage, but choosing an alternative may eventually lead to a turn-off. Nylon 66 will remain a superior material of choice.
Pleasant Precision can help review your products and find the right alternatives to keep you in production all while maintaining your current specs. We have the technical expertise to guide you in the proper material selection and find potential cost savings. For more information on the Nylon 66 shortage please contact Cory at 937-441-9705.
For more information on the Nylon 66 shortage and how it is affecting our processes, please contact us at 419-675-0556.