Europe May SAN domestic prices fall by €20-30/tonne

21 May 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) May domestic prices were assessed down by €20-30/tonne ($26-38/tonne) by ICIS on Tuesday.

Compounding grade SAN was assessed at €1,960-1,990/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), commercial grade at €2,200-2,340/tonne FD NWE and speciality grade at €2,430-3,160/tonne FD NWE.

Lower feedstock costs were said to be the main reason for the decreases, with acrylonitrile (ACN) contracts falling by €95-100/tonne for May, and the styrene contract slipping by €11/tonne.

One SAN producer said it was dissatisfied with the decreases, as it had hoped to take advantage of solid demand to recover margins. The source said it was possible that prices would slide further in June, but this would depend on raw material price trends.

Another producer said the market was strengthening slightly, in spite of continuing macroeconomic concerns. The source noted that this is traditionally peak season for SAN demand, and suggested that further improvements in offtake could follow next month.

A buyer described good availability and mediocre demand, emphasising that domestic producers are keen to sell volumes. The source said that compounding grade is on offer in Italy at a net price of €1,550/tonne DDP (delivered duty paid).

A second buyer had expected to see an uptick in demand, based on the possibility of higher SAN prices next month, but said this had not materialised.

A buyer in the UK said that demand was acceptable, adding that it was buying Asian SAN at $1,920/tonne on a delivered basis.

Sources had previously indicated stable-to-strong demand for commercial grade SAN, based on a buoyant market for home appliances and white goods in recent months.

Demand for compounding grade material was under pressure owing to compounders' preference for buying ready-made acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

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

($1 = €0.78)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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