19 January 2010 03:45 [Source: ICIS news]
By Helen Yan
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian acrylonitrile (ACN) prices are poised to rise to $2,000/tonne (€1,380/tonne) in February because of a supply crunch, strong Chinese demand and rising costs of the feedstock propylene, traders said on Tuesday.
February spot offers surged to $2,000-2,100/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia, up more than $200/tonne from mid-December prices, as supply was constrained by a spate of plant turnarounds in Asia and outages in ?xml:namespace>
ACN is a raw material used in the production of acrylic fibre (AF) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).
Several ACN plants in Asia, including
“We have no spot availability in the first quarter, as we are building up our inventories ahead of our plant turnaround in February,” a company source at Taekwang Industrial said.
Taekwang’s 250,000 tonne/year ACN plant at
Taiwanese producer CPDC will have its 190,000 tonne/year ACN plant at
In Europe, a cracker outage in
Recent production issues at Lukoil’s 150,000 tonne/year ACN facility at
Adding fuel to the supply crunch is the robust Chinese market, which has seen domestic ACN prices rise to yuan (CNY) 17,000-17,500/tonne ($2,489-2,562/tonne), up CNY 2,000/tonne since mid-December, as Chinese traders stock up on inventories ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in mid-February.
“We have received many enquiries from Chinese traders for late-February and early-March delivery, but we have limited spot availability,” a company source at
Apart from Asia, Chinese traders also source from the
More than 15,000 tonnes of deep-sea ACN product from the US, Mexico and Brazil is expected to head towards China in January and February, but fresh deep-sea cargoes are likely to command higher prices, given the rising feedstock propylene costs.
US January contracts for chemical-grade propylene settled 3 cents/lb higher at 55.50 cents/lb, which will add more than $70/tonne to the ACN production cost.
“It is getting more difficult to secure deep-sea cargoes as supply is tight and feedstock propylene costs are pushing up prices. We will be happy if we could secure ACN at $1,900/tonne CFR China,” a Chinese trader said.
($1 = €0.69/$1 = CNY6.83)
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