Price and market trends: Asia styrenics prices slip on low demand

27 September 2013 10:19  [Source: ICB]

Asia’s polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices declined in the week ended 20 September as demand tapered off during the mid-autumn festival. While suppliers mostly held on to their offers, a number of traders lowered their prices to move cargoes.

Spot prices of PS were in the low $1,900s/tonne (€1,406/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China while ABS values hovered in the low-to-mid $1,900s/tonne CFR NE (northeast) Asia, $10-20/tonne lower than the previous week.

“Some traders have sold parcels below the producers’ prices as they wanted to clear some inventories before the holiday,” said a trader in Hong Kong.


The market is currently in the last leg of the manufacturing for exports season, but overall demand for PS and ABS was lacklustre. “Demand for Asia-made goods is poor and hence consumption of resins is also weak,” said a producer in southeast Asia.


Suppliers of resins expect limited pick-up in demand after the mid-autumn festival holiday as China is set to close for the week-long National Day holiday in early October. “The market for PS and ABS will stay weak into October as the lull season will set in after the Chinese National Day holidays,” said a trader in southeast Asia.

The manufacturing season typically stretches across the months of July to October each year. However, this year’s demand for resins was below expectations as orders for finished goods were lower than other years.

Buyers of resins were cautious and kept low stocks of resins. Most buyers cited weak economic conditions in the US and eurozone as the main reason for weak demand for Asia-made goods. “Recent positive data out of China, Europe and the US has not [been] translated into stronger demand for resins in Asia,” said another resins producer in southeast Asia.

Several traders in southeast Asia also said there is no significant improvement in the market and demand in Asia stayed mostly tepid. “There is no pick-up seen so far and ABS prices are soft this week,” said a trader based in Singapore.

PS is used for packaging, disposable consumer items, toys and consumer electronics. ABS is used for appliances, consumer electronics, toys as well as in the construction and automotive sectors.

By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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