Europe December styrene acrylonitrile contract prices roll over

11 December 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) December contracts have settled at a rollover, buyers and sellers confirmed on Tuesday.

Compounding grade was assessed at €1,960-1,970/tonne ($2,545-2,558/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), commercial grade at €2,200-2,320/tonne FD NWE and speciality grade at €2,430-3,140/tonne FD NWE, according to ICIS.

SAN producers did not offer a decrease because the feedstock styrene December contract price settled at an increase of €15/tonne. However, producers did not push for a rise in SAN prices for December because of the traditionally lower demand level that comes with year-end production shutdowns.

“Raw materials [had] a small increase and [we] had no expectations that this could be passed on to the market,” a SAN producer said.

Despite year-end being an expectedly quiet period, both producers and distributors were not disappointed with the levels of demand they were seeing. Most attributed "better than expected" demand to buyers replenishing stocks that had been run down in October and November because expectations of lower SAN prices in December.

“People have been caught short with stock as they were expecting a big reduction that has not been given,” a distributor said.

European SAN availability remains good. One producer has reduced its production output in line with quieter seasonal demand.

Styron has announced the closure of its 35,000 tonne/year SAN plant in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, to carry out planned maintenance and improvement work. The outage was scheduled for December so as not to impact SAN supply. The closure commenced on 29 November with no restart date currently available.  

Players anticipate increases in demand in January as buyers restock after the quiet Christmas period, pushing prices up at the same time. 

SAN is used in household and sanitary applications, office articles, cosmetic packaging, transparent covers, lighters, sanitary applications and battery housings.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Matt Tudball
+44 208 652 3214

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