03 October 2011 18:06 [Source: ICIS news]
BERLIN (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile (ACN) producers may be forced to cut production rates to bring the market back into balance, sources said on the sidelines of the 45th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting on Monday.
Weak demand from downstream acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) has seen spot numbers tumble to $1,950-2,050/tonne (€1,463-1,536/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance, freight) WE (western Europe), from a peak of $2,850-3,000/tonne in May.
Sources are pessimistic demand will pick up this year, and so producers will be forced to reduce output to stabilise prices.
One buyer said that manufacturers have already started cutting operating rates in Europe by up to 20-30%.
However, this was denied by producers maintaining they currently have no plans to slow down, although they could not rule out such a move in the future depending on how demand develops.
Contractual volumes will be covered during the outage and a source at INEOS said that it may shut down a little earlier than scheduled if inventories are full.
($1 = €0.75)
For more on ACN visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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