North American ABS producers realise most of price increases

16 March 2012 21:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) producers in North America achieved about 90% of their proposed price increases on average for February and March, moving the price ranges up 5-14 cents/lb from the start of the year, market sources said on Friday.

The following cumulative increases have been sought by the five North American ABS producers since the start of the year: INEOS ABS, 14 cents/lb; SABIC Innovative Plastics, 14 cents/lb for its general market ABS material and 28 cents/lb for its extruded pipe and sheet material; Styron, 16 cents/lb; Styrolution, 12 cents/lb; and Network and Diamond Polymers, 5 cents/lb.

The price movements for the various grades are as follows:

  • Extrusion medium impact bulk moved from 130-140 cents/lb to 135-154 cents/lb
  • Extrusion medium impact package moved from 133-143 cents/lb to 138-157 cents/lb
  • Extrusion high impact bulk moved from 135-145 cents/lb to 140-159 cents/lb
  • Extrusion high impact package moves from 138-148 cents/lb to 143-162 cents/lb.
  • Injection medium impact bulk moves from 125-135 cents/lb to 130-149 cents/lb
  • Injection medium impact package moves from 128-138 cents/lbs to 133-152 cents/lb
  • Injection high impact bulk moves from 130-140 cents/lb to 135-154 cents/lb
  • Injection high impact package moves from 133-143 cents/lb to 138-157 cents/lb

The producers have said the price increases sought have been based on rising feedstock costs for butadiene (BD), acrylonitrile (ACN) and styrene.

Buyers of ABS said they were not shocked that producers would seek the increases, although some argued that when the costs of feedstocks drop that producers are not as eager to decrease their prices.

When it was time to place orders, however, buyers have paid a large percentage of the increases when sought, unless they had purchase contracts that had different arrangements.

Producers and buyers said that contract arrangements extended for up to 30 days at the most, so eventually the parts of the higher prices were being paid by most buyers.

BD contract prices have risen from 98 cents/lb to 145 cents/lb, while the spot price has increased from 100-105 cents/lb to 155-160 cents/lb.

The BD price movement is tied to the increases in the cost of naphtha or ethane, depending on facility.

ACN domestic delivered contract prices have moved up to 109.18-113.62 cents/lb from 95.72-98.75 cents/lb since the start of the year. ACN spot prices have moved from to $2,200-2,280/tonne from $1,620-1,665/tonne.

ACN costs are tied to the costs of feedstocks propylene and ammonia.

The cost of styrene, which is tied to the cost of benzene, have moved from a December contract price of 59-63 cents/lb to 70-74 cents/lb since the start of the year, while spot prices have moved from 57-59 cents/lb to 67-68 cents/lb.

North American producers have the combined ACN capacity 945,000 tonnes/year.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Wesley Busch
+1 713 525 2653

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