US ACN export prices harmed by demand, feedstock

24 October 2008 18:15  [Source: ICIS news]

US ACN export prices fallHOUSTON (ICIS news)--US acrylonitrile (ACN) export price ideas were falling rapidly as buyers sat on the sidelines for the fourth consecutive month and watched feedstock values and demand plummet, market sources said on Friday.

“What can I say? It’s horrendous, God-awful. Nobody’s buying, no deals are being done,” one trader said.

Global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing this week assessed spot prices at $1,800-1,900/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia, down more than $150/tonne from the previous month.

A cargo of ACN was offered at $1,780/tonne (€1,388/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) during the week but was rejected for being too expensive, the trader said.

No word was given about the cargo’s country of destination.

The US ACN export spot market has been dormant since June, when two transactions were carried out at $1,975-2,020/tonne FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf).

Although suppliers said run-ups in feedstock costs supported that price level as necessary, buyers fell out of the market, and global demand destruction set in.

Now that buyers have seen feedstock propylene and ammonia prices drop, they are demanding dramatic cuts in ACN prices, sources said.

“I believe if you want to sell ACN to Asia now, arriving now, you need prices at $1,550-1,600/tonne CFR. If it's going to arrive a month later, you would need $1,500/tonne CFR,” said another trader who deals in the ACN export market.

One supplier called those price ideas “unfavourable”, while US producer Cytec Industries said this week it expected ACN shipments to Asia to remain flat for the foreseeable future.

But as US market participants looked to the east, at least one US producer conceded that it would have to follow suit.

“The arrow in Asia is definitely pointing down. I expect the Asian influence to eventually creep into our market,” the supplier said.

($1 = €0.78)

For more information on ACN, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry, go to ICIS connect

By: Ben Lefebvre
+1 713 525 2653

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