■ ACN is used in the production of acrylic fibres (AF), plastics and elastomers, with AF the largest end use. ACN is also used for ABS polymer for automotive and construction, and in SAN, adiponitrile (ADN), acrylamide and nitrile rubber copolymers.
■ US supply is expected to remain tight as INEOS Nitriles continues operating its 545,000 tonne/year Texas plant at reduced capacity.
■ US demand is steady to upticking. Some expect stronger demand in Q3 – the peak season for making AF for the winter and ABS in consumer products before the holiday season. Asia demand also is likely to pick up.
■ Europe producers INEOS, Lukoil and Petkim will undergo maintenance in Q3.
■ Weak AF demand in Europe may counterbalance tight supply.
■ Asia prices are expected to remain firm in Q3 on the back of high feedstock costs and limited deep-sea cargoes.
■ Asia supply is expected to slightly tighten amid shutdowns in Asia, Europe and US.