US ABS 9 cent/lb Dec-Jan price hikes find little resistance so far

03 December 2010 18:05  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The most recent round of price-hike proposals for US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) have not found much resistance, market sources said on Friday, although slower demand in Asia could change that.

ABS price-increase nominations were 9 cents/lb ($198/tonne, €150/tonne) from SABIC and Styron, set for 20 December, and 9 cents/lb from INEOS, set for 1 January.

No initiatives were heard from Bayer, the fourth major US ABS producer. A source said they tend to come in at the low end of price-hike proposals.

Buyers and distributors said the ABS price initiatives were not finding much resistance, even after prices rose 3-4 cents/lb in November because of a lack of competition from Asian imports.

Prices on Asian ABS had kept Asian producers from seeking to export to the US, allowing US producers to raise the floor on prices.

Market sources said the price initiatives were also being aided by strong demand in the US for this time of year, which is typically slower.

However, a distributor said Asian demand for ABS was softening, which could lead to lower prices, more exports and thus increased resistance to the US initiatives.

Sources said the ABS proposals had also been fuelled by rising feedstock costs for styrene monomer (SM) and butadiene (BD).

ABS prices are at 129-146 cents/lb for extrusion material of medium or high grade and 120-136 cents/lb for injection material of medium or high grade, as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: John Dietrich
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