07 October 2013 17:26 [Source: ICIS news]
BERLIN (ICIS)--An Asian acrylonitrile (ACN) trader is predicting that China will become self-sufficient on ACN by 2015, and that by 2017 it will no longer have a need to import material as long as production rates are above 75%, it said on Monday.?xml:namespace>
Asia – in particular China – is a major importer of European ACN.
“China cannot [continue to] import 400,000 tonnes [of ACN per year]. How much portion will remain, that’s the key question,” the trader said on the sidelines of the 47th annual European Petrochemical Association meeting in Berlin, Germany.
The trader’s comments echoed sentiment from an acrylic fibre producer – a major downstream market for ACN – that China will become self-sufficient by 2015-2016.
ACN spot activity has been limited because of a stalemate between producers and consumers.
Producers and distributors said they would not sell below €1,870/tonne ($2,527/tonne) because of weak margins, arguing that they would need to obtain around €1,950/tonne to reach break-even point given current upstream ammonia and propylene costs.
Buyers, however, said that they would not purchase at above €1,800/tonne because of weak demand and their own narrow margins. Demand for acrylic fibre remains weak because of poor macroeconomic conditions.
Unlike contracts where ABS and acrylamide are also major downstream markets, spot ACN is predominantly consumed by the acrylic fibre market. Acrylic fibre consumption has been heavily affected by the global economic downturn, and consumption has been low throughout the year.
The meeting will continue through Wednesday.
($1 = €0.74)
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