Europe ABS/SAN buyers nervous over Styrolution's force majeure

01 November 2011 15:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) sellers are being inundated with enquiries as customers try to make up the shortfall caused by the force majeure declared by Styrolution last week, sources said on Tuesday.

“Customers are in trouble. The phone is ringing every second,” said one trader.

Force majeure was declared on certain SAN and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) grades – including Luran and Luran HH – by Styrolution following a fire at its Ludwigshafen, Germany, plant on 23 October.

Initial assessments show that the fire caused severe damage to the cable infrastructure that is critical to the management of the entire facility. The affected part of the plant has therefore been shut down for further investigation and repairs, the company said in a statement.

It is mainly speciality and high-heat grades that have been affected, and so downstream automotive manufacturers are the ones suffering the most.

However, users of commodity grades say there is still enough material in the market because of lacklustre demand. Many customers are looking to wind down inventories towards year-end, therefore only purchasing what is absolutely necessary.

This – combined with weakening feedstock styrene, butadiene and acrylonitrile values – means buyers and traders predict a reduction of up to €50/tonne ($69/tonne) for ABS and SAN November prices.

($1 = €0.72)

For more on ABS visit ICIS chemical intelligence
By: Amandeep Parmar
+44 208 652 3214



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