16 July 2010 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--European acrylonitrile (ACN) spot prices were assessed down by $50/tonne (€39/tonne) this week as demand from the acrylic fibre industry weakened further and availability showed signs of improvement, market sources said on Friday.
Prices were assessed down by $50/tonne at the upper end of the range to $2,150-2,250/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) WE (western Europe).
ACN buyers reported an increase in the number of offers made over past weeks and argued this was a sign of a longer market, but producers continued to insist the market was tight.
Producers also maintained demand remained healthy, but other market players disagreed, arguing that demand from acrylic fibre producers had slowed considerably due to weak demand and lower prices in the fibre market.
Demand for acrylic fibre was falling as buyers expected a significant downward correction in prices and hence were deferring product purchases. A fibre producer forecasted a 20-25% drop in acrylic fibre prices.
Two European acrylic fibre producers were reportedly operating at reduced rates (one at 50% of capacity and another at 60-65% of capacity) on the back of weak demand for fibre and expected reduced production rates to continue in August.
Most market players predicted spot prices would continue falling in the coming weeks as the factors that had previously exerted upward price pressure in the first and second quarters of this year – such as increasing propylene costs, tight supply and strong demand - were no longer present.
Other players argued that significant price falls in Asia, particularly in ?xml:namespace>
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