Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene Prices, markets & analysis
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Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene Overview Transcript
The Asian ABS market is the fastest growing among the stryrenic resins. This is mainly due to them being used in many applications.
Common useage for ABS include sectors such as automobiles, consumer electronics, office equipment, personal computers, toys and construction.
ABS can be fused with other plastics to form alloys. This further extends the useage of the resin in other sectors such as mobile phone casings which use PC/ABS alloy.
China is the largest importer and user of the resin in Asia given its huge manufacturing base.
The spot market is active and liquid with major sellers from Taiwan, Korea, and South East Asia competing for a piece of the action each week China continues to expand its domestic ABS capacity each year, but demand always increases in tandem, resulting in the continual need for large volume imports.
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Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
Producers in the European ABS market will be closely watching exchange-rate developments in the fourth quarter. A weaker euro against the US dollar has seen improved demand for some grades of European ABS priced in US dollars, with cargoes from Asia becoming less attractive to European buyers. As a result, two producers saw September demand at near-record levels. October’s demand should remain strong, driven by sectors such as household appliances and toys, before the traditional slowdown in the run-up to Christmas.
US producers intend to keep prices flat for as long as possible, even though they are facing downward pressure from overall declining raw material costs and competitive pricing from suppliers in other regions. Feedstock prices for US styrene and butadiene (BD) have been on a downtrend, although ABS prices have not changed. US producers are still trying to recoup squeezed margins because earlier cost increases were not completely passed through to customers. Nevertheless, ABS prices in other regions have fallen. Domestic producers said they would have to address the issue eventually to remain competitive. Meanwhile, supply and demand fundamentals are expected to remain stable.
Asia ABS makers conceded that demand for resins will stay weak after China’s National Day holiday from 1-7 October. The Chinese export sector of finished goods is expected to slow down in the fourth quarter, which will curb demand for resins, including ABS. Most ABS makers in Asia have trimmed output in the third quarter and are expected to keep production rates low into the last three months of the year.
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Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Methodology
About Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) is the largest-volume engineering resin. Its biggest use is in the automotive industry, followed by the electronics sector. Other applications include domestic appliances, pipes, fittings and other construction products, and recreational items such as boats and mobile homes.
ABS is also blended with other polymers such as polycarbonate or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for injection moulding applications.
An amorphous thermoplastic blend, ABS is available in a range of compositions and properties, depending on the ratio of monomer feedstocks (15-35% acrylonitrile, 5-30% butadiene and 40-60% styrene), to give a large number of grades and applications.
Due to its flexibility of composition and structure, ABS can exhibit a wide range of properties, allowing its use in diverse applications. ABS resins are composed of over 50% styrene and varying amounts of butadiene and acrylonitrile (ACN). Styrene provides rigidity and ease of processing, ACN offers chemical resistance and heat stability, and butadiene gives toughness and impact strength.