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 Q3 2016
Global ACN supply is expected to remain tight into the third quarter.
Asia ACN supply is expected to further tighten in the third quarter because of several plant turnarounds in China and South Korea. Asian suppliers mull further price increases to cope with the tight supply. However, downstream demand will fall as some downstream plants are to shut or reduce operating rates ahead of G20 Summit in Hangzhou in early September. ACN prices are likely to be stable to firm in the third quarter.
Several European ACN sellers are sold out for July and there is a wide range of prices in the market. Nevertheless, supply shortages are expected to ease in August with the traditional seasonal lull during the summer months.
In the US, ACN prices are expected to continue rising in the third quarter, on strong demand and tight global supply.
Producers said that a shortage of US supply is likely to keep demand strong in both the domestic and overseas markets, as production outages in Asia continue to impact global supply.
Overall, US spot material is expected to remain tight through the summer months, possibly through to September, sources said.
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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.