05 December 2012 03:58 [Source: ICIS news]
By Clive Ong
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers for polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) in Asia have increased by $20-50/tonne (€15-38/tonne) this week, bolstered by buoyant values of feedstock styrene monomer (SM), traders and producers said on Wednesday.
“ABS offers are rising to $1,900-1,950/tonne in China this week,” a Hong Kong-based trader said.
For PS, offers were quoted at $1,720-1,750/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China this week, up by $30-40/tonne from the previous week, market sources said.
“We have to increase PS prices as SM costs are rising relentlessly,” said a Taiwanese PS producer.
Prices of feedstock SM breached $1,650/tonne CFR China this week on the back of tight availability and some speculative trading, forcing resin makers to hike offers in order to maintain workable margins on their products.
On 30 November, spot ABS prices were assessed at $1,850-1,900/tonne CFR NE (northeast) Asia, up by an average of $10/tonne from the previous week, while PS prices increased $20/tonne over the same period to $1,680-1,720/tonne CFR China, according to ICIS.
The proposed price increase this week, however, was met with lukewarm response from buyers that are in no hurry to purchase cargoes, market sources said.
Most end-users have completed their production requirements for the year and preferred to keep low stocks, they said.
“Demand will only pick up [next] year at the earliest, while it is possible we might have to wait until the Lunar New Year in February,” said a Korean resins trader.
Other traders were less optimistic, expecting resins demand to stay weak in the first half of 2013, given the poor global economic conditions.
PS is used for packaging, toys and consumer electronics, while ABS also goes into toys, as well as into appliances, consumer electronics, and has further applications in the automotive and construction sectors.
($1 = €0.76)
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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