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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We offer the following regional Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene marketplace.
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Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2018
With producers now experiencing negative margins, some producers could cut back supply in the region. A facility in southeast Asia will also shut two lines for maintenance in the fourth quarter. However, a major producer is expected to bring onstream its new plant in China towards the end of the year which will thwart any effects of reduced output from existing plants.
Demand is expected to wane in the fourth quarter which is a traditionally slow season in Asia. With the US-China trade war having no resolution in sight, trade in ABS is expected to remain lacklustre. Demand is expected to remain below par with end-users and traders in a cautious mode.
Imports may remain a stable feature of the European market as demand in China is not expected to improve in the near term. As supply from European producers is expected to stay the same, the market could be long over the fourth quarter as the market becomes more subdued heading towards the end of the year.
Following a weaker September than usual, demand is expected to regain strength in October, and this late return to the market following summer could see healthier demand than typical for November. Traditionally activity winds down heading into December, but if buyers anticipate feedstocks pushing prices higher, this could increase demand at an unseasonal time.
US ABS supply should be steady in the fourth quarter, with no production issues seen or turnarounds planned. As was the case during the first seven months of this year, South Korea, Mexico and Taiwan will be the largest ABS suppliers to the US market in the fourth quarter.
Some domestic producers separately lowered prices at the beginning of the fourth quarter in an effort to close the gap on cheaper import prices – primarily from Asia. US ABS demand will begin to drop in October, following peak demand in industries including construction, automotive and electronics during the third quarter.
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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.