Weak demand keeps Asia ABS flat despite ACN, BD gains

29 November 2011 09:11  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian producers of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins are having difficulty raising prices despite a sharp rebound in values of feedstocks butadiene (BD) and acrylonitrile (ACN), given weakness in demand, industry sources said on Tuesday.

Spot ABS prices are holding at around $1,800/tonne (€1,350/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia since the week ended 11 November, down by more than 20% from $2,270/tonne CFR NE Asia in early August,  according to ICIS.

“Demand from end-users remains weak with no signs of an imminent improvement,” said a trader in east China.

BD prices, on the other hand, jumped by more than 20% over the past two weeks to above $1,900/tonne CFR NE Asia for the week ended 25 November, ICIS data showed.

ACN values, meanwhile, reversed its losing streak to reach $1,750/tonne CFR NE Asia on 25 November, up 9.4% from early November, according to the data.

ABS dealers in south China pointed to the ongoing debt crisis in the eurozone as curbing demand for China-made products.

“The exports market is really weak this year and seems unlikely to pick up anytime soon as the European and US economies remain problematic,” said a Hong Kong-based resins trader.

ABS is used in the toys, consumer electronics, office equipment and automobile sectors.

But with BD prices poised to extend gains in the weeks ahead, several ABS suppliers are likely to insist on hiking prices.

“We may increase the offers for December cargoes if feedstock prices continue to rise,” said a Korean producer.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Clive Ong
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