27 April 2006 18:16 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--European acrylonitrile (ACN) prices were on Thursday approaching a 10-year record high on the back of rising feedstock numbers and a tight market, buyers and sellers said.
With crude oil prices hovering just above $70/bbl, ACN producers were feeling the pressure from the upstream markets and were continuing to seek further hikes.
Some were planning to push prices from the current maximum level of $1,420/tonne CIF NWE (cost, insurance and freight) Northwest Europe (NWE) and CIF MED to $1,450/tonne. This would take prices beyond the 10-year high of $1,430/tonne, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Additional pressures on numbers were coming from a tightening European market. A few sellers, particularly from the fibre sector, noted that they were making losses at current price levels and warned that if this trend continued the European fibre industry could suffer.
Another negative development for buyers was the decision by Romania's Arpechim to close one of its two ACN production units as a possible prelude to a complete exit from the sector.
Some market participants emphasised that this decision had come at a bad time for the ACN market, which was already suffering from a shortage of supply.
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