Europe ABS buyers resist Elix €50/tonne January increase

10 January 2014 14:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European buyers are resisting initial price increases of €50/tonne from acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) producers including Spain’s Elix Polymers, but accept that a rise in feedstock costs will lead to higher January prices, sources said on Friday.

Elix announced an increase of €50/tonne for its European January prices because of higher feedstock costs, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

“Due the additional raw material increases in January we are forced to increase our product prices,” the company said.

The announcement follows a press release from Swiss producer Styron earlier this week also announcing a €50/tonne rise in its January prices.

The January styrene contract price increased €35/tonne, and butadiene (BD) was up €10/tonne compared to December. With a €20/tonne increase in propylene this month, players expect a rise in the January acrylonitrile (ACN) contract price.

Buyers said at least three other producers were targeting increases of €50/tonne for January, but do not think these are achievable.

A buyer of extrusion grade ABS said it had refused an offer of a €50/tonne increase from its suppliers, instead looking for an increase of €20-30/tonne.

A second extrusion buyer said it expects January increases to be in the region of €30/tonne.

“We've fixed with three of our main European suppliers, two at €30/tonne, one at €40/tonne,” a compounder said.

January demand is positive, with elements of restocking seeing higher demand levels than the shorter month of December.

“Demand is still strong. We've had a couple of strong months, intake for January is looking good,” a distributor said.

One distributor of extrusion grade ABS said there is a more positive sentiment amongst its customers, and a more bullish attitude to 2014 in general.

Some buyers bought product in December to cover themselves for January and February, from both European and Asian suppliers. However, there were no offers from Asian suppliers so far this week.

South Korean suppliers pushed for larger volume parcels in December because of weak demand from China. Asian producers may also be cutting back on production ahead of maintenance due to be carried out over the Lunar New Year on 31 January.

By: Matt Tudball
+44 208 652 3214

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