Acrylonitrile markets are covered weekly by ICIS in Asia, Europe and the US by our network of locally based reporters.
The reports contain news and market analysis to help you keep abreast of global movements and include information on spot and contract prices, upstream and downstream markets, as well as production issues and any other influencing factors. This unbiased market intelligence can help you to make informed business decisions.
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Acrylonitrile: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2018
Asia’s acrylonitrile (ACN) supply in Q1 2018 is expected to reduce amid the upcoming turnarounds. Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) will shut its 280,000 tonne/year Mailiao plant in mid-January for a month. Taekwang Industrial will also shut its 290,000 tonne/year Ulsan plant from 5-26 March. However, the supply reduction might be offset as Shandong Haili Chemical Industry may start up a new 130,000 tonne/year plant in early 2018.
The demand in Q1 2018 is expected to slow down as China will close from 15-21 February to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Some small downstream plants may shut down or reduce the operation ahead of the holiday as workers will take leaves to go home. Some Asian countries also celebrate the holiday, which may lead to subdued trade.
The first quarter of 2018 is not expected to see improved availability as producers approach period of planned maintenance in January and March. US plant are now running again and may provide some relief via exports but it is likely that most product will be reserved to cope with domestic demand.
ACN demand has seen little reduction, even over the holiday period and this will continue into the first quarter. Upcoming maintenance periods will stretch availability. Sellers may have had time to prepare stocks to cover contracts customers but the spot market will probably lose out again. Buyers are already minded not to rely on spot for securing product.
US acrylonitrile (ACN) supplies are expected to remain constrained in Q1 2018 as producers in the US continue to recover inventories lost in the previous year amid a pickup in global demand. In particular, heavy turnarounds in Asia as well as the Lunar New Year holiday are expected to put pressure on global supplies, including in the US, limiting inventory recovery.
US acrylonitrile (ACN) demand is expected to increase in Q1 2018 amid an increase in demand from end-use markets in preparation for the year ahead. Moreover, turnarounds in Asia are expected to increase demand for foreign product amid production losses at home. Moreover, the Lunar New Year may see increased demand as buyers secure inventories ahead of the holiday.
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Acrylonitrile (ACN) is a clear, colourless or pale yellow flammable liquid with a sweet, pungent, irritating odour. It is partially soluble in water, soluble in most organic solvents (including ethyl alcohol, acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride and ethyl acetate), very reactive and polymerises violently in the presence of alkalis or peroxides.
ACN is used mainly as a monomer or comonomer in the production of synthetic fibres, plastics and elastomers. The largest outlet is in the manufacture of acrylic fibres, which are used in clothing. Acrylic fibres also have uses in home furnishings and bedding.
An important outlet for ACN is the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)/styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) market.
The dominant route for the manufacture of ACN is the one-step propylene ammoxidation process, replacing the original acetylene-based technology. New technology based on propane ammoxidation is being developed by a number of ACN producers with claims of a 30% production cost advantage compared to the propylene route.