02 December 2008 10:20 [Source: ICIS news]
SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--China’s acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) operating rates have remained at low levels in the last few months due to the market's persistent sluggishness and soft demand, producers and traders said on Tuesday.
“It is very hard to exceed the level of 47% in the fourth quarter in such a soft market at the end of year. We might even go below that,” said an ABS producer.
The average operating rate had decreased to 47% in the third quarter from 62% in the first two quarters, according to market sources.
Automobile and household appliance industries – the end-users of ABS – have been suffering from the financial crisis and global economic slowdown, leading to a pessimistic outlook for the ABS market amid fears of a global recession.
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Gaoqiao Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Sinopec, has been running its 50,000 tonne/year ABS plant at 40% capacity, while Lanzhou Petrochemical, a subsidiary of PetroChina, has further decreased the operating rate of its 200,000 tonne/year unit to 30%.
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