22 March 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
Compounding grade (natural) was at €2,235-2,295/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), injection moulding (natural) at €2,325-2,400/tonne FD NWE and extrusion grade (natural) at €2,250-2,400/tonne FD NWE, according to ICIS.
Producers had targeted higher increases of up to €60/tonne for March business, but buyers argued that flat demand in the European market – caused by the prevailing weak economic environment – only warranted hikes representing the feedstock cost pass-through.
Lower prices from some ABS producers forced other suppliers to drop their prices, squeezing margins.
There were some differing opinions on demand, with some seeing a drop-off in levels compared to previous weeks as players were waiting for April raw material price negotiations to begin.
“Deals are done, prices are settled,” a producer said. “The only change is a bit of a slowdown in order intake due to price expectation for the coming month.”
Others saw a different picture, blaming flat demand on the economy.
“[Our] order intake has reduced from where it was a few weeks ago,” a buyer said. "No one is holding off [for April prices], [it's] just a sign of real demand at the moment.”
The majority of market participants believe feedstock costs are likely to drop in April as a result of softening prices in the upstream market.
ABS has a variety of uses in the automotive, construction and household goods markets, among others.
($1 = €0.77)
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