Asia acrylic acid prices may bottom out on superabsorbents demand

09 November 2011 07:31  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The spot prices of acrylic acid (AA) are likely to bottom out this week, in line with the increasing demand from the superabsorbent polymer (SAP) segment, producers and traders said on Wednesday.

The prices are expected to bottom out to $2,430-2,440/tonne (€1,750-1757/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance & freight) CMP (China Main Port) and $2,300-2,310/tonne CIF southeast (SE) Asia, the producers and traders added.

The prices have fallen by $50/tonne during the week ended 9 November, in line with deals heard done at $2,300/tonne CIF SE Asia, according to data from ICIS.

On 2 November, the benchmark prices of AA were assessed at $2,480-2,490/tonne CIF CMP and $2,350-2,360/tonneCIF SE Asia, the data showed.

According to a northeast Asian producer, the demand from the SAP segment has been picking up strongly in northeast Asia, the eurozone and the US.

“With La Nina back this winter, the cold temperatures can be intense,” the producer said, referring to the ocean-atmosphere phenomenon, which is the cold phase following the El Nino-Southern Oscillation climatic change.

“This is good for the SAP market as it means there will be more demand for thick baby diapers,” the producer added.

SAP, which also known as slush powder, is a polymer is used primarily in the production of baby diapers as it is able to absorb and retain large volumes of liquid relative to its own mass.

SAP is made from the polymerisation of AA that is blended with sodium hydroxide.

A second northeast Asian producer said: “We can see AA prices recover as we move into the heart of the winter months from December through February.”

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Quintella Koh
+65 6780 4372

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