US spot ACN prices increase $100/tonne on tight supply

07 April 2011 20:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot acrylonitrile (ACN) prices increased on Thursday, sources said, as supply tightened from a force majeure (FM) and a plant shutdown.

US Gulf (USG) material was selling in the spot market for $2,750-2,800/tonne (€1,925-1,960/tonne) FOB (free on board), up from $2,650-2,700/tonne a week earlier, according to a producer and trader.

The producer said a deal was done for 1,500 tonnes of material at $2,760 tonne FOB Aratu for April delivery.

A trader pegged the range at between $2,750-2,780/tonne FOB USG.

The higher prices are mostly spurred by tightening supply. US producer Cornerstone Chemical has declared FM on ACN at its 227,250 tonne/year ACN plant in Fortier, Louisiana, effective 4 April.

The company has also put customers on 75% sales allocation ahead of its planned turnaround in May.

In addition, Taiwan’s China Petrochemical Development Corporation (CDPC) has shut down one of its ACN lines with 95,000 tonnes/year of capacity, after a worker died in a plant accident on 5 April.

Also adding potential strength to higher prices is the expected settlement of the US April propylene contract price. Most USG ACN players are expecting an increase of 8-10 cents/lb.

Major US ACN producers are Ascend Performance Materials, Cornerstone and INEOS Nitriles.

($1 = €0.70)

To learn more about acrylonitrile visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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