Weekly Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) reports are published in Asia, China, Europe and the US.
Asia and China cover spot prices for one grade in different regions, while US and Europe report domestic prices for different grades. All contain independent market news and analysis gathered by our locally based reporters. Content includes overviews, production news, upstream information and import movements, when applicable. These reports are an essential tool to help you make confident commercial decisions.
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Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2018
Supply is expected to ease in Q2, as Zhenjiang Chimei re-started its 820,000 tonnes/year Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) unit in Jiangsu on 4 April, following a 10-day shutdown. Several ABS makers are expected to run their plants at optimal rates, to meet an anticipated pick-up of demand during Q2. Supply in southeast Asia is also expected to be ample, as producers have no scheduled turnarounds in Q2.
Demand for ABS is expected to pick up in April, after prices fell sharply in Q1. Buying interest is expected to rise in April, on seasonally strong demand during Q2. Expectations of costs pressures from rising feedstock styrene monomer prices may also result in a stronger buying sentiment. Furthermore, ABS prices are likely to have bottomed out in Q1, and is poised for a rebound on the expected increase in demand.
ABS supply in Europe is expected to remain constant throughout the second quarter. However, if demand for prime material picks up in China, there is a possibility that sellers in Asia will have less volume to export to Europe.
ABS demand is expected to remain healthy throughout most of Q2. However, demand tends to soften near the end of the quarter as summer approaches and the downstream and end markets weaken. That said, some players expect demand for ABS, especially in the compounding sector, to remain strong for the entire quarter.
With Asian imports becoming more available in the US in Q2, supply in the domestic market will improve from the previous quarter. As was the case in Q1, South Korea, Taiwan and Mexico will be the largest ABS suppliers to the US during Q2.
Strong construction-related sectors and automotive demand in the US are expected to keep ABS demand strong in Q2. Demand from the consumer electronic sector is also expected to increase, but at similar levels to overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Demand in Q2 is traditionally strong.
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Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Methodology
About Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) is the largest-volume engineering resin. Its biggest use is in the automotive industry, followed by the electronics sector. Other applications include domestic appliances, pipes, fittings and other construction products, and recreational items such as boats and mobile homes.
ABS is also blended with other polymers such as polycarbonate or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for injection moulding applications.
An amorphous thermoplastic blend, ABS is available in a range of compositions and properties, depending on the ratio of monomer feedstocks (15-35% acrylonitrile, 5-30% butadiene and 40-60% styrene), to give a large number of grades and applications.
Due to its flexibility of composition and structure, ABS can exhibit a wide range of properties, allowing its use in diverse applications. ABS resins are composed of over 50% styrene and varying amounts of butadiene and acrylonitrile (ACN). Styrene provides rigidity and ease of processing, ACN offers chemical resistance and heat stability, and butadiene gives toughness and impact strength.