05 November 2013 18:03 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot acrylonitrile (ACN) October contracts settled at a small discount off September figures despite declining feedstock costs, market players said on Tuesday.
The formula-based ACN domestic contracts settled in the range of 99.09-103.28 cents/lb DEL (delivered), slightly weaker on the high end of the range.
On the exports side, the October FOB contract prices were also little changed at 77.68-79.95 cents/lb FOB (free on board).
Spot ACN export prices are declining at a faster pace, having dropped at least $50/tonne (€37/tonne) in the last month, according to ICIS data.
The main cause of the decline is sputtering demand from the acrylic fibre (AF) market in Asia, seen as the main driver for ACN in the global picture.
Market players said that operating rates for ACN plants in the US have been reduced to prevent oversupply, but actual rates have remained undisclosed.
One plant in Mexico has been down for a while on unfavourable economic conditions for exports but has recently returned.
Demand from the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) market remains strong in the US with good performance of the automotive industry, but ABS represents only a small fraction of the overall ACN market.
Demand from the AF market may not improve in the short term, considering that falling international cotton prices could impact negatively the acrylic and polyester fibre markets for months to come.
The main ACN producers in the US are INEOS, Cornerstone and Ascend Performance Materials.
($1 = €0.74)
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