Lower feedstocks likely to limit ABS, PC prices - exec

18 September 2009 17:29  [Source: ICIS news]

By Paul Teague, Purchasing magazine

BOSTON (ICIS news)--Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC) resin buyers can expect flat or slightly lower prices over the next 90 days due largely to falling feedstock benzene values, a company executive said on Friday.

Greg Smith, vice president of engineered resins at Resin Technology (RTi), said the September benzene contract settlement of $2.79/gal - an 86 cents/gal, or 24%, decline from August - was brought on by lower-priced Asian imports, improved supply and soft demand.

In addition, demand growth for ABS will be 6% lower than in 2008, Smith told the Chemical Purchasing Summit organised in Boston by ICIS and Purchasing magazine.

According to Purchasing, transaction prices for ABS declined in August, while transaction prices for PC increased.

Even so, feedstock costs for polycarbonate – which include benzene - are also expected lower over the same time frame. In the third quarter of 2009, the cost to produce polycarbonate was 18 cents below the cost in the third quarter of 2008, he said.

Because of the falling values, staying abreast of feedstock costs should be a priority for buyers to take into consideration when forecasting their costs for resins, Smith said.

“You have to know that you’re paying the right price every day,” Smith said. “Most likely, buyers don’t know that.”

For more on ABS and PC visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

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