22 March 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile (ACN) spot prices fell by $20-25/tonne (€15-19/tonne) this week because of poor downstream acrylic fibre demand and increased offers of import material from overseas, sources said on Friday.
Several players said they were being offered material from both Asia and the US at around $1,900/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) W (western) Europe, because of global oversupply and falling feedstock costs in those regions.
Several European traders confirmed they were offering at $1,900/tonne CIF W Europe this week, but added that offers were not attracting any buying interest.
While overseas prices continue to fall, European buyers have moved to the sidelines of the market in expectation that they will be able to obtain cheaper material in the next few weeks. As a result, market activity is limited.
“Customers [are] indicating but not bidding, they're hiding because they think [the] market [is] going down on [lower] US propylene [prices] and they feel availability from USA [is increasing] ... I think the Europeans can hardly be competitive with Asia and America,” a trader said.
Some downstream acrylic fibre producers have estimated their year-to-date demand at up to 30% below the same period in 2012. This is because of poor macroeconomic conditions which have limited consumer purchasing power.
ACN spot bids and offers were at $1,900-1,950/tonne CIF W Europe in the week ending 22 March.
Although a number of buyers said some European producers continue to offer material as high as $1,975/tonne, this was not a realistic price given weak downstream demand.
($1 = €0.77)
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