Weak feedstock markets weigh on Asia ABS prices

14 November 2012 06:17  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin prices remained under downward pressure in the week on weak feedstock acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene (BD) prices, said producers and traders on Wednesday.

“ACN and BD make up around 40% of ABS which is significant and their weak performance will continue to weigh down the resin price,” said a producer in southeast Asia.

ACN prices fell below $1,700/tonne (€1,343/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) northeast (NE) Asia in November, down from $1,860/tonne CFR NE Asia a month ago. BD prices were similarly weak, falling below $1,700/tonne CFR NE Asia in November from $1,935/tonne CFR NE Asia a month ago, according to ICIS data.

While a number of ABS suppliers maintained offers at above $1,900/tonne CFR China in the week, deals were concluded mostly below $1,900/tonne CFR China as buying interest was limited.

”Demand is weak as the market has entered a lull period until the end of the year,” said a trader in Hong Kong.

With the weak global economic backdrop, some market participants expect the weak demand to prevail into the first half of next year.

“Usually the market shows some improvement after the Lunar New Year each year, but given the current weak global economy, demand for ABS might continue to languish in the first half of next year,” said a South Korean distributor.

Key feedstock styrene monomer (SM) prices were steady at around $1,600/tonne CFR China in October and November but could not prop up ABS prices.

“With SM prices still so high, producers are facing thin margins,” said a Taiwanese ABS manufacturer.

($1 = €0.79)

By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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