Japan's Asahi Kasei rolls over $2,200/t for Oct ACN contract

27 September 2010 08:10  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japanese producer Asahi Kasei has rolled over $2,200/tonne (€1,628/tonne) as its nominated contract price for October acrylonitrile (ACN), citing stable market conditions, a company source said on Monday.

The company’s October Far East Contract Price (FECP) nomination on a cost and freight (CFR) Asia basis was unchanged from September.

“The market is stable and we expect demand from the downstream acrylic fibre (AF) sector to pick up,” the company source added.

In the meantime, ACN spot prices have stabilised at around $2,000/tonne CFR Asia this month, after rebounding from $1,950/tonne CFR Asia in early August, according to ICIS data.

Prices had swung wildly this year, soaring by as much as $600/tonne in the first half of this year - from around $1,850/tonne CFR Asia in January to $2,450/tonne CFR Asia in May - before falling to $1,950/tonne CFR Asia in early August.

“It would be good for prices to maintain some stability in the fourth quarter as price volatility is unhealthy and can destroy demand,” said a downstream AF maker.

Improved demand from derivative AF and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) producers should help keep ACN prices relatively stable into the fourth quarter, industry sources said.

“The downstream AF market is picking up while ACN supply is expected to remain balanced-to-tight due to plant shutdowns in October and November. These factors will help to sustain the ACN price stability into the fourth quarter,” a trader said.

Asahi Kasei was scheduled to shut down its 100,000 tonne/year ACN plant at Mizushima and 150,000 tonne/year ACN unit at Kawasaki, in October for a 40-day maintenance period.

Taiwan’s China Petrochemical Development Corporation (CPDC), meanwhile, would shut its 190,000 tonne/year ACN plant in Kaohsiung in November for expansion works.

($1 = 0.74)

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By: Helen Yan
+65 6780 4359

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