Acrylonitrile Prices, markets & analysis
For those looking to keep abreast of the global Acrylonitrile market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Acrylonitrile or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Acrylonitrile market as they happen. Our network of price reporters throughout Asia, Europe and the US provide key local insights. We collate this intelligence into daily and weekly price reports, ensuring you have the up-to-date information you need at all times.
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
Global acrylonitrile (ACN) supply is expected to lengthen in the second quarter (Q2) following the end of a heavy plant turnaround schedule in the US and Asia, along with continued weak downstream acrylic fibre (AF) demand world-wide. Prices in all three regions have been on a downward trend in the second-half of the first quarter, following price spikes in January and February resulting from supply shortages.
US and Asian ACN feedstock prices have fallen and longer supply is expected after the end of a heavy turnaround season. Ongoing plant shutdowns is expected to be completed in Q2. This is expected to add downward price pressure if demand does not increase in tandem. In the US, demand has been relatively steady, although the export business has not accelerated as quickly as some had hoped.
In Europe, several sellers had overestimated demand levels in March, in view of globally low availability, which has led to a surplus of prompt European material. It is unclear how much distressed material remains in European tanks, leading to uncertainty over the future direction of prices. The weaker-than-expected demand was in part attributed to high stocks and low prices of cotton, which is being used instead of AF.
Updated to mid-April 2014
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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.