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 Q1 2018
Feedstock cost pressures and tightened supply had driven prices up, and will likely continue to impact the market.
Demand for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene in Asia is expected to slow down as China, a primary market of ABS, approaches the Lunar New Year in February. Prices may ease after the recent price uptrend in Q4 2017.
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) supply in Europe is expected to be mixed in Q1 2018. Three counteracting factors support this indication. Firstly, supply in Europe is already low due to untypically strong demand throughout November and December and early order entries for January 2018 are already very high, possibly leading to buyers once again struggling to secure all of the volumes they require. Secondly, with China’s ban on recycled ABS imports into the country coming into effect on 31 December, some players expect that buyers in that country will forced to buy greater volumes of first rate material. If this occurs, suppliers in Asia are likely to try to meet that extra demand and therefore fewer volumes could be available to European importers at competitive prices. Finally, the Chinese New Year in late-February could in theory lead to reduced demand during that time and players in Asia looking to export any surplus volumes they might have to Europe amid potentially weakening demand in the region.
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) demand in Europe is expected to be mixed in Q1 2018. With such strong buying appetite in Q4 2017, some buyers expect downstream markets could weaken slightly in Q1 2018, although early orders for January are currently healthy. If the downstream automotive and electrical applications industries continue to consume increasing amount of ABS, demand will likely increase. Furthermore, demand from European producers could drop if players in Asia seek to export material during the Chinese New Year in late-February when demand in China typically weakens. Adding to this, any further volatility in the upstream markets could influence buying appetite in the downstream markets, if prices rise and fall in large spikes with little consistency.
US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) production has been stable, and no turnarounds are expected to take place during the first quarter. Domestic supply will continue to be supplemented by imports, as the US is a net importer of ABS. However, material from Asia is tight as most shipments are bound for China, where prices are more favourable.
Demand will pick up in the first quarter, after dropping during the final two months of 2017 due to seasonality factors. Rising demand will increase the need for imported material, but acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) from Asia is tight. Global demand for ABS resins is expected to be healthy in 2018 in the major market segments.
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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.