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 (ABS) prices in the first quarter of 2014 have been driven by feedstock movements, rising and falling mainly on the back of the monthly feedstock styrene contract.
The increase in January was less than what producers wanted because of weaker-than-expected demand in the compounding and distribution markets, leading buyers to argue for an increase in line with raw materials. Producers wanted €50/tonne because they did not pass on higher feedstock costs in December, but had to settle for increases of €30-40/tonne in January.
February saw ABS prices increase by €20-25/tonne following a smaller February styrene increase of €17/tonne. Demand levels improved marginally for some distributors and compounders, and producers saw a noticeable increase in demand in the second half of the month. Producers were reluctant to attribute the increase to a specific market segment, but buyers and sellers agreed overall sentiment appeared to be becoming more positive in the ABS market.
A €57/tonne drop in the March styrene contract price saw ABS prices fall by €10-20/tonne, with the €80/tonne increase in butadiene (BD) giving producers some small leverage to minimise reductions. Demand was stable to firm in March, with some possible inventory building ahead of Easter seen in the second half of the month.
Updated to Q1 2014
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