22 March 2013 17:26 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile (ACN) contractual supply and demand is better balanced than in the spot market, sources said on Friday.
This is because the spot market predominantly serves the acrylic fibre market, which is seeing the weakest consumption of the ACN downstream markets, sources said.
Some acrylic fibre producers have estimated their year-to-date demand at up to 30% below the same period in 2012.
“[the acrylic fibre market is] very, very quiet. Still weak demand. Still up to 30% down on acrylic [fibre compared to last year, and we’re] not producing more. No signs of improving. We don't see any change,” An acrylic fibre producer said.
Nevertheless, key end-use markets for contracted volumes also include acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylamide.
Acrylamide consumption is performing particularly well, which has been attributed both to underlying growth coming from new applications along with an increase in ore processing – which uses acrylamide. Ore processing is increasing because of the high price of precious metals, sources said.
“The majority [of our production] will go into the contract market... It's all for acrylamides. Acrylic fibre is getting too much attention because spot is all acrylic. [that means] two thirds of the market [is] not being talked about. Acrylamide in Europe is about 20% [of European ACN consumption].
($1 = €0.77)
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