Acrylonitrile markets are covered weekly by ICIS in Asia, Europe and the US by our network of locally based reporters.
The reports contain news and market analysis to help you keep abreast of global movements and include information on spot and contract prices, upstream and downstream markets, as well as production issues and any other influencing factors. This unbiased market intelligence can help you to make informed business decisions.
Acrylonitrile Overview Transcript
Acrylonitrile ACN is a product that is used to make acrylic fibres. It is a raw material that goes primarily into making acrylic fibre and also other products such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS.
Acrylic fibre is used, on the other hand, in clothing and carpets, whereas ABS is used in the automotive and appliances industries.
Acrylonitrile is traded mostly in Asia on a spot and contract basis. China is a major importer of ACN. It buys ACN from Asia as well as from deep sea suppliers in Europe and the US Gulf.
Other than China, India is another major spot market, Both these countries are major importers of ACN.
The major producers in Asia are primarily based in Japan South Korea and Taiwan.
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Acrylonitrile: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2016
The Asian acrylonitrile (ACN) market in Q4 is expected to remain firm on the back of INEOS Nitriles’ force majeure at its Green Lake, Texas, facility and several turnarounds in China, Korea and Taiwan.
Spot supply will continue to be limited in coming months as most buyers have increased their contract cargoes after INEOS’ force majeure, which may push up prices further. However, the uptrend will be likely limited as Q4 is usually off-peak season for downstream derivatives.
European ACN players are expecting 2017 demand growth of around 3%, several sources have independently said. ACN players were speaking on the sidelines of the 50th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest.
The majority of the growth is expected to come from the downstream acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market, which sources estimated would grow by up to 4%, and the acrylamide market, where growth rates of 2-3% were forecast by players.
In the US, ACN spot prices are anticipated to rise in the fourth quarter, as the INEOS force majeure continues to affect global supply. Market participants said that supply tightness is unlikely to ease until repairs to the INEOS facility are completed.
While ACN demand typically decreases in Q4, sources said that demand is likely to remain strong, as inventories are low and suppliers are looking to replenish their stores. Meanwhile, US ACN contract prices are expected to follow the movement of feedstocks ammonia and propylene.
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Acrylonitrile (ACN) is a clear, colourless or pale yellow flammable liquid with a sweet, pungent, irritating odour. It is partially soluble in water, soluble in most organic solvents (including ethyl alcohol, acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride and ethyl acetate), very reactive and polymerises violently in the presence of alkalis or peroxides.
ACN is used mainly as a monomer or comonomer in the production of synthetic fibres, plastics and elastomers. The largest outlet is in the manufacture of acrylic fibres, which are used in clothing. Acrylic fibres also have uses in home furnishings and bedding.
An important outlet for ACN is the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)/styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) market.
The dominant route for the manufacture of ACN is the one-step propylene ammoxidation process, replacing the original acetylene-based technology. New technology based on propane ammoxidation is being developed by a number of ACN producers with claims of a 30% production cost advantage compared to the propylene route.