07 February 2013 15:58 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--South Korea was the largest exporter of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) into the EU in the period January to October 2012, according to Eurostat data.
South Korean producers exported 76,818 tonnes of ABS and 12,998 tonne of SAN to the EU between January and October 2012, compared with 80,416 tonnes of ABS and 4,808 tonnes of SAN for the same period in 2011, according to Eurostat data.
The steep increase in SAN imports could be due to the reduction of import duty for South Korean materials as part of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. The Agreement eliminates tariffs for industrial and agricultural goods in a progressive, step-by-step approach.
By contrast, ABS imports from South Korea dropped by 4% between 2011 and 2012, though the amount of material imported into the EU remains substantial. Weak European end-use market consumption caused by poor macroeconomic conditions could be the reason for the drop.
European buyers had been purchasing on a hand-to-mouth basis in the second half of 2012, and may have been put off purchasing Asian materials by the 6-8 week delivery window.
In 2012, the other key exporters of ABS into the EU (in order of volumes exported) were Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Japan. SAN key exporters, in order, were Taiwan, Mexico, the US and Japan.
Eurostat monthly data becomes available approximately 75 days after the end of the month.
($1 = €0.74)
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