19 April 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
Compounding grade (natural) was assessed at €2,205-2,245/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), injection moulding (natural) at €2,295-2,350/tonne FD NWE and extrusion grade (natural) at €2,220-2,350/tonne FD NWE, according to ICIS.
Suppliers reduced prices following a €64/tonne drop in the April feedstock styrene contract price, and a €60/tonne drop in acrylonitrile (ACN).
Producers which had passed through a larger portion of the March feedstock contract price increases had to reduce ABS prices by a greater amount, while producers who did not increase prices by as much in March did not pass on the full April feedstock reduction to ABS buyers.
ABS producers had hoped to retain some margins by setting initial April targets of minus €30/tonne, but these were soon revised downwards following the ACN settlement.
“We had virtually no margin recovery,” a producer said of its April business.
Demand has started to weaken because buyers have retreated to the sidelines in the expectation of futher feedstock contract price reductions in May. It is too early to get a clear idea of May figures, but one supplier said ABS prices could drop by €20-50/tonne, depending on raw material costs.
“We don't have reliable information, but gut feeling tells us we have not reached the bottom yet, might still see a downward trend,” a second producer said about May ABS prices.
“We expect a drop in May, but we are getting mixed messages,” a buyer of extrusion grade ABS said.
ABS has a variety of uses in the automotive, construction and household goods markets among others.
($1 = €0.77)
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