Europe SAN buyers taking less volume in April

09 April 2013 17:07  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) buyers are taking less volume in April because of flat demand in a weak market, sources said on Tuesday.

As negotiations for April contract prices get under way, some buyers have chosen not to purchase from European suppliers, instead utilising existing inventories to meet current demand levels or purchasing product from Asian suppliers.

“For SAN I do not know [April price offers] as I am not buying at this moment, and do not need [SAN] this month,” a buyer said.

“We are not buying quantities in April because we received enough material in February and March,” a second buyer added.

European producers continue to face stiff competition from Asian suppliers, with the gap between European and Asian-produced substantial enough for buyers to wait the 6-8 week delivery time for Asian material.

A UK-based buyer said Asian-produced SAN was available at around €1,600/tonne on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis into the UK.

European producers are aware that Asian material still poses a threat to SAN sales, and expect to see more arrivals in late April and into May.

However, despite buyers taking less volume, producers are still satisfied with current demand levels.

“In normal circumstances, we would not be that happy [with demand levels], but baring in mind the current situation in the automotives market, and [the economy in] southern Europe, from this perspective, demand is OK,” a producer said.

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

($1 = €0.77)

By: Matt Tudball
+44 208 652 3214

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