04 May 2012 21:35 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylonitrile (ACN) spot prices dropped, moving to $2,010-2,050/tonne (€1,528-1,558/tonne) from $2,070-2,100/tonne last week, under pressure from global economics, sources confirmed on Friday.
A market source said external forces were affecting the ACN market, citing declining crude oil prices and a strengthening dollar.
Demand remains good in the US, producers said.
The demand is much stronger in the US than it is in Asia or Europe.
A producer said the margins are at the point where production rates would be reduced before a producer would start selling at cost or below.
Historically, the producer said, it is very rare for the margin to go negative in the ACN market.
Many market sources are waiting to see what happens with the May contract for feedstock propylene.
Propylene typically settles early in the month. However, the April contract prices did not settle until 19 April.
The contract price for propylene is generally lower in months when it takes longer to settle, a market source said. This would bring about a lower ACN contract price, which is based on a formula that factors in costs for propylene and ammonia.
North American producers of ACN include Ascend Performance Materials, Cornerstone Chemical, INEOS Nitriles and Unigel.
($1 = €0.76)
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