07 November 2008 16:47 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US acrylonitrile (ACN) production companies produced 20% fewer tonnes of the chemical in the first three quarters of 2008 compared with the same period the year before, industry association data showed on Friday.
Producers Cytec, INEOS, Lanxess and Lucite produced 1.7bn lbs (771,115 tonnes) of ACN during the first three quarters of 2008, compared with 2.1bn lbs during the first nine months of 2007, according to data from the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association.
The drop was especially steep in the third quarter, when producers manufactured 4.3m lbs of ACN, down 40% from 7m lbs in the same period the year before.
The data put numbers to what many ACN market players have been feeling for months.
The market has been moribund since June, when ACN prices rode a rocket sparked by higher feedstock prices.
Producers cut their production rates in response, and a few were forced to shut down their plants in the wake of Hurricane Ike in September.
Global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing assessed US ACN prices at $1,780-1,900/tonne (€1,406-1,501/tonne) FOB (free on board) US Gulf on 31 October, down from $1,975-2,020/tonne FOB.
The assessment was notional, based on pricing ideas, as sales have been frozen since July.
At least one ACN producer said the industry successfully foresaw the slowdown and kept inventory balanced.
“ACN producers have done a good job of cutting output since July in anticipation of pressure. The industry in general has done a good job of staying ahead,” the producer said.
($1 = €0.79)
For more information on ACN, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry, go to ICIS connect
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|