Caprolactam is a chemical used to produce nylon fibers and resins, and production levels are rising in Asia as demand builds, according to a new report by GBI Research. The chemical is used to manufacture textiles, carpets, industrial yarns, films and engineering plastics. China has emerged as a global caprolactam manufacturing hub, accounting for around 46 percent of Asia-Pacific’s total demand volumes during 2011.
Developments in various Chinese manufacturing sectors demand caprolactam, and China’s low operating costs encourage local caprolactam production to meet this need. India, Taiwan and Thailand are also increasing caprolactam capacity. However, volatility in crude oil prices threatens the profitability of caprolactam producers, as the chemical’s feedstock is derived from crude oil.