Caprolactam price April 2024 and outlook (see chart below)

  • North America:US$1.88/KG, unchanged
  • Europe:US$1.96/KG, -1.5% down
  • Northeast Asia:US$1.79/KG, unchanged
The chart below summarizes Caprolactam price trend per region, as well as the outlook. It takes a moment to load.

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Caprolactam price index

This post is a summary of the caprolactam /6-hexanelactam (epsilon-captolactam) price developments. The price developments of caprolactam are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Caprolactam price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for caprolactam prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of caprolactam/6-hexanelactam (epsilon-captolactam) prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of caprolactam
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of caprolactam prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the caprolactam/6-hexanelactam (epsilon-captolactam) market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Caprolactam price index

 

What is caprolactam

Caprolactam is a chemical compound with the formula C6H11NO. It is a white, crystalline solid that is used as a monomer to produce a wide variety of polymers, including nylon 6 and nylon 6,6. Caprolactam is produced by the ammonolysis of cyclohexene oxide, which is obtained from cyclohexane, a byproduct of gasoline production.

Caprolactam has a variety of uses, including:

The production of nylon 6

Caprolactam is the main monomer used to produce nylon 6, a polymer with a wide range of applications, including textiles, automotive parts, and food packaging.

The production of nylon 6,6

Caprolactam is also used to produce nylon 6,6, which is used in the production of textiles, automotive parts, and other products.

Other uses

Caprolactam is also used in the production of resins, adhesives, and paints, and it is used as an intermediate in the production of a wide variety of chemicals.

Overall, caprolactam is a versatile chemical that is used in the production of a wide range of products.

 

How is caprolactam produced

Caprolactam is produced through a chemical process called ammonolysis, which involves the reaction of cyclohexene oxide with ammonia. The cyclohexene oxide is typically obtained from cyclohexane, which is a byproduct of gasoline production.

The production of caprolactam typically involves the following steps:

Preparation of cyclohexane

Cyclohexane is produced from benzene, which is obtained from petroleum.

Production of cyclohexene oxide

Cyclohexene oxide is produced from cyclohexane through a process called epoxidation, which involves the reaction of cyclohexane with oxygen in the presence of a catalyst.

Ammonolysis of cyclohexene oxide

The cyclohexene oxide is reacted with ammonia to produce caprolactam, which is a white, crystalline solid.

Purification and drying

The caprolactam is purified and dried to remove impurities and moisture, resulting in the final product.

Overall, the production of caprolactam involves the reaction of cyclohexene oxide with ammonia to produce the final product.

 

What is caprolactam used for

Caprolactam is used as a monomer to produce a wide variety of polymers, including nylon 6 and nylon 6,6. These polymers have a wide range of applications, including:

Textiles

Nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 are used in the production of textiles, such as clothing, carpets, and upholstery.

Automotive parts

Nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 are used in the production of automotive parts, such as gears, bearings, and fuel lines.

Food packaging

Nylon 6 is used in the production of food packaging, such as films, bags, and containers.

Other uses

Nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 are also used in the production of a wide range of products, including adhesives, resins, and paints.

Overall, caprolactam is used as a monomer to produce a wide range of polymers that are used in a variety of applications.

 

What types of caprolactam are there

There are two main types of caprolactam: regular grade and high purity grade.

Regular grade caprolactam is the most common type and is used in the production of a wide range of products, including nylon 6 and nylon 6,6. It typically contains impurities such as water, ammonia, and cyclohexanone, which are removed during the purification process.

High purity grade caprolactam is used in applications where a high degree of purity is required, such as the production of medical devices and pharmaceuticals. It is produced through a more extensive purification process to remove impurities and is generally more expensive than regular grade caprolactam.

Overall, the main difference between the two types of caprolactam is the degree of purity, with high purity grade caprolactam being more expensive due to the more extensive purification process. The specific type of caprolactam used will depend on the application and the required level of purity.

 

What is the caprolactam market size

It is difficult to estimate the exact size of the global caprolactam market, as it depends on various factors such as demand from different end-use industries, production capacity, and market trends. However, according to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global caprolactam market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% from 2020 to 2025, reaching a market size of around USD 20.63 billion by 2025.

Caprolactam is used as a monomer to produce a wide range of polymers, including nylon 6 and nylon 6,6, which have a variety of applications, including textiles, automotive parts, and food packaging. The demand for caprolactam is expected to increase due to the growing demand for these polymers in various end-use industries. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the global caprolactam market, due to the large and growing populations in countries such as China and India, which drive demand for textiles and other products that use caprolactam.

According to https://oec.world/ :

6-hexanelactam (epsilon-captolactam) are the world’s 1643rd most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of 6-hexanelactam (epsilon-captolactam) were Belgium ($342M), Russia ($255M), Netherlands ($121M), Germany ($111M), and Japan ($104M).

In 2020, the top importers of 6-hexanelactam (epsilon-captolactam) were China ($293M), Germany ($246M), Chinese Taipei ($218M), Italy ($137M), and Slovenia ($64.6M).

 

Further information

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