Asia ABS trades at two-month low on weak demand

06 November 2012 08:34  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins are currently trading below $1,900/tonne (€1,482/tonne) the lowest level seen in two months amid persistently weak demand, market sources said on Tuesday.

In the week ended 2 November, ABS prices were assessed at 1,870-1,930/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia, down by an average of $40/tonne from the previous week, according to ICIS.

While prices of feedstock styrene monomer (SM) have been relatively firm in the high-$1,500/tonne CFR China levels, those of other feedstocks such as acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene have declined.

ACN fell below $1,700/tonne CFR NE Asia for the week ended 2 November, down from around $1,860/tonne CFR NE Asia a month ago.

BD numbers, on the other hand, retreated to $1,725/tonne CFR NE Asia for week ended 2 November, down by an average of $210/tonne from the same period last month, according to ICIS data.

“The [ABS] market is in a lull period now and demand for ABS is likely to stay weak for the remainder of the year,” said a southeast Asian producer.

Demand for resins continued to weaken in the key Chinese market, prompting a number of traders to liquidate stocks last week.

Aggressive selling caused prices to fall below $1,900/tonne CFR China for the first time since late August this year.

“Traders are generally keen to reduce stocks as demand is expected to weaken in the near term”, said a trader in Hong Kong.

Major producers continued to quote prices at in the low-to-mid-$1,900/tonne CFR China and Hong Kong levels, but a few conceded that it was difficult to conclude business at this level.

“We have been telling buyers that SM prices remain high, hence ABS offers could not come down significantly. However, most of them were unconvinced and refuse to commit,” said a producer in Taiwan.

The ABS sector has been hampered by weak Asian exports of finished goods this year, as major export destinations such as the US and the eurozone are mired in economic malaise. The slowdown in Asian economies, including China, has also dampened resins demand.

ABS is a resin used in the manufacturing of toys, consumer electronics, appliances, office equipments, as well as in the automotive and construction sectors.

($1 = €0.78)


By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359



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