Europe April SAN domestic prices drop €30-50/tonne

16 April 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) April domestic prices have dropped by €30-50/tonne ($39-65/tonne) because of a fall in feedstock costs, buyers and sellers said on Tuesday.

The Feedstock styrene contract price dropped €64/tonne in April, while acrylonitrile (ACN), SAN’s other feedstock, fell by €60/tonne for April contract business.

Compounding grade SAN was assessed at €1,980-2,020/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), commercial grade at €2,220-2,670/tonne FD NWE and speciality grade at €2,450-3,190/tonne FD NWE, according to ICIS.

Producers who had pushed for large increases in March business had to pass on similar reductions in April, despite apparent good demand.

“Demand is still very good, but [the cost drop means] another missed opportunity to increase margin in April,” a producer said after it settled the majority of its April business at a reduction of €45-50/tonne.

By contrast, suppliers which had not tried to strengthen margins by passing on the full feedstock increase in March saw a slight improvement in profitability in April, settling business at reductions of €30/tonne on average, with some customer-specific decreases of up to €40/tonne.

“We did not follow the whole upward trend, so [we are] not following the whole downward trend,” another producer said, adding that if other producers had followed a raw material trend downwards, a €50/tonne reduction would be reasonable.

Suppliers are satisfied with current demand levels given the on-going weak macroeconomic conditions in Europe.

Some buyers, however, were seeing lower demand levels compared with March.

“Demand is too ... quiet, it has dropped from March to April, affected by days off,” referring to some parts of Europe taking extended holidays over Easter at the beginning of the month.

Thoughts have already turned to May, as several public holidays across parts of Europe could see a slowdown in manufacturing and a drop in demand.

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

($1 = €0.77)

By: Matt Tudball
+44 208 652 3214

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