Europe ABS buyers resist €50/tonne January increases

17 January 2014 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Buyers in the European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market have resisted the €50/tonne January price increase targeted by European producers, market sources said on Friday.

The seasonal slowdown in demand and smaller increases of €20/tonne from Asian suppliers meant buyers are not prepared to pay €50/tonne above December prices.

A European producer said it was seeing Asian suppliers increase prices by €20/tonne in January, so it was settling its January business at €30-40/tonne.

Buyers are having to accept some rise in price because of upward movements in all three feedstocks. ABS negotiations are centring around a €30-40/tonne increase, though talks are on-going for the majority of participants.

“We settled at a €20-30/tonne increase,” a buyer of extrusion grade material said, adding that it was seeing good demand from its end-use consumer market.

“We have also confirmed business at [a] €30-40/tonne increase,” a compounder said.

The January feedstock styrene contract price rose €35/tonne, butadiene was up €10/tonne from December, and acrylonitrile (ACN) has been confirmed at a €20/tonne increase for January.

A producer said its demand levels had risen significantly during the week, having been sluggish at the beginning of the month.

“It was very poor at the beginning of the month but really changed this week. From Monday, very strong order intake,” the producer said.

“For us, it's a good month. We are about 5% higher [year on year],” a second producer said, adding: "Let’s see if this will be a trend for the following month.”

Some market participants raised concerns about February feedstock costs because of higher spot benzene numbers this week, though most players thought it too early in the month to speculate on February raw material costs.

By: Matt Tudball
+44 208 652 3214

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