Styrene acrylonitrile Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis for the global Styrene acrylonitrile market. Our network of price reporters, based in Asia, Europe and the US, deliver local insight for each of these markets, which is published in our individual weekly and daily price reports.
If you buy or sell Styrene acrylonitrile or related products, our reports, news and market intelligence will give you the prices and analysis of the factors driving the prices that you need to make confident commercial decisions.
Styrene acrylonitrile Overview Transcript
Styrene acrylonitrile or SAN is a transparent resin made from styrene and acrylonitrile.
SAN is used to make consumable items like cigarette lighters, tooth brush holders and trays in refrigerators. It’s also used to make fan-blades and other items requiring transparency.
China is the main users of SAN in Asia, given its large manufacturing base and position as a leading exporter of finished goods.
SAN usage is expected to grow as demand for consumer items increases each year. Domestic demand in China has become an important outlet for SAN in Asia, as local demand for finished goods and consumer items is set to grow strongly over the next several years.
The market in Asia is essentially spot, with demand and supply conditions often moving prices, although speculation does often accentuate these price movements.
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Styrene acrylonitrile: Market overview
European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) demand is expected to see minimal growth in 2014, by as little as 1-2%, if at all, because of the slow economic environment in Europe. Prices will be mainly driven by feedstock costs, in particular styrene monomer. Asian, and South Korean imports in particular, could have an effect on European prices, because Asian suppliers are able to offer competitively priced cargoes to European buyers who are prepared to wait the 6-8 weeks for shipment. Some Asian suppliers may enter into maintenance during the Lunar New Year holiday period at the end of January, limiting offers of SAN from the region, however. End-use consumers of SAN buy on a hand-to-mouth basis because of demand uncertainty, making it hard for compounders and distributors to have a clearer outlook for future market trends.
Asian SAN markets are expected to remain in the doldrums in the first quarter of 2014. Demand is expected to be tepid amid slow market activities during the Lunar New Year holidays in late January and early February. Nonetheless, suppliers continued to target higher resins prices as feedstock styrene and acrylonitrile values remain firm. Buying interest has waned as SAN prices have reached a parity with ABS numbers. Other competing plastics like polystyrene are trading at around $100/tonne lower than SAN, further dampening buying momentum. End-users expect demand to remain soft into the second quarter as the Chinese exports sector will not pick up significantly until the third quarter. After having trimmed output late last year, SAN makers appeared to be in a more comfortable position as inventories are at manageable levels. However, buying interest is expected to remain soft in the near term, traders said.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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Styrene Acrylonitrile Methodology
About Styrene acrylonitrile
Styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) is a copolymer of styrene and acrylonitrile. It is an optically clear resin which when compared with general-purpose polystyrene (GPPS) has improved toughness and rigidity, better solvent and chemical resistance, and somewhat greater heat resistance.
SAN copolymer ranks among the hard engineering plastics. Its properties are influenced both by its molecular weight and by its acrylonitrile content. If the two parameters are increased simultaneously, this will raise the strength, rigidity, impact strength, heat resistance and stress cracking resistance.
Key end uses for SAN are household and sanitary applications, office articles, cosmetic packaging, electrical, transparent covers, lighters, sanitary applications, medical applications and battery housings.