Europe ABS May domestic prices down by €30-40/tonne

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

LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) May domestic prices were assessed by ICIS at a reduction of €30-40/tonne ($39-52/tonne) on Friday.

Compounding grade (natural) was assessed at €2,175-2,205/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), injection moulding (natural) at €2,265-2,310/tonne FD NWE and extrusion grade (natural) at €2,190-2,310/tonne FD NWE.

The price cuts followed decreases in the cost of all three feedstocks. The May styrene contract dropped by €11/tonne, acrylonitrile (ACN) contract prices fell by €95-100/tonne, and the butadiene (BD) contract was down by €75/tonne.

A buyer of compounding grade ABS said its net price for May was at €1,760-1,770/tonne DDP (delivered duty paid) Italy, compared with €1,800/tonne in April. The source said its demand forecast was not positive.

Another buyer previously said it had received a reduction of €70/tonne from two suppliers, but this could not be confirmed on the sell side.

Sources generally described demand as lacklustre, although one producer said it had improved following heavy destocking in April.

The seller said its margins were stable and market fundamentals were basically flat. However, it noted that buyers' inventories are low, and suggested that they will have to purchase tonnes at some point, even if prices rise.

Another producer observed that ABS demand is highly dependent on the durable goods market, which has been severely undermined by the weak macroeconomic climate. However, the source said that the peak season has arrived, and overall offtake is not too low.

A third producer said that market activity has been predictably lower in May on account of public holidays, but demand was still below its expectations. The source expected to see a recovery in June.

A fourth producer offered a more optimistic view, saying that it was selling more ABS into the compounding, distribution and Turkish markets than it had anticipated.

The seller said it expects the market to be stable into June, but emphasised that the supply chain is quite empty.

ABS has a variety of uses in the automotive, construction and household goods markets, among others.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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