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 Q3 2018
Supply is expected to increase in Q3 onwards amid new ABS facilities coming onboard by the end of 2018. LG Chem will double the capacity of its Guangdong ABS plant from 150,000 tonnes/year to 300,000 tonnes/year, while several other domestic Chinese producers also have plans to start up new facilities.
Traditionally, seasonal demand is expected to pick up in August. However, demand may be weighed down by macroeconomic issues. Concerns of a US-China trade war remain a key concern, particularly for the downstream electronic component manufacturing sector. The persistent weakening of the Chinese yuan will also impact buying appetite for USD-denominated import cargoes.
Although one European producer could still be in turnaround, no change is expected to the supply of ABS in the third quarter. Feedstock prices could soften entering into the third quarter so producers may be able to pass savings on downstream to their customers.
Demand looks likely to remain consistent in the third quarter, not directed by seasonal factors as other markets are. As prices for July could start to soften in line with feedstock levels, demand could pick up as some buyers held back from purchases last month because of the higher prices.
There are no issues with production at the beginning of the third quarter, nor are there plans for turnarounds. Supply will continue to be tight in the third quarter, which is why the US is a net ABS importer. South Korea, Mexico and Taiwan will be the largest ABS suppliers to the US during the third quarter.
Demand in China will begin to increase this summer as operations in the manufacturing-for-exports season peaks. That, in turn, should push Asian ABS prices higher again, and limit sales to the US market. Domestic demand is seen as strong, but seasonal when compared to other years. South Korea and Mexico will be the primary suppliers in 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.