US domestic ABS prices reach record high on feedstock increases

25 February 2011 20:47  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US domestic prices for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) copolymer were assessed at record highs on Friday, as price increase nominations started to see implementation amid higher feedstock costs.

Price increases of 6 cents/lb ($132/tonne, €95/tonne) from INEOS ABS and Styron went into effect on 21 February, buyers said, and had found market acceptance.

A price increase of 9 cents/lb from SABIC Innovative Plastics is set to take effect on 28 February, and is also expected to gain traction, buyers said.

The price increases were sparked by rising feedstock costs for US butadiene (BD) and styrene monomer (SM).

The US BD contract price has increased each of the past four months, and the US SM contract price has increased in each of the past five months.

The price increase nominations were met with little resistance, sources said, because demand is strong in the US and in Asia.

The top drivers for strong US ABS demand have been the automotive, electronics and appliances sectors. The biggest sector that has been described as not improving in 2011 has been building and construction.

However, several producers said that sector could soon pick up as warmer weather allows for more construction.

The previous record for US domestic ABS prices was set in May 2009.

US domestic ABS prices are assessed by ICIS at 141-153 cents/lb FOB (free on board) for medium extrusion bulk material, and at 131-143 cents/lb FOB for medium bulk injection material.

($1 = €0.72)

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

By: John Dietrich

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