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.
Updated to Q1 2019
Supply in the first quarter was constrained as some producers cut back output. Weak margins and tepid buying interest prompted suppliers to manage inventories carefully. A key producer placed customers on allocations, citing poor margins from elevated feedstock costs. Traders were also cautious not to stock up too much resins, preferring back-to-back business. However, most buyers were unhurried as they deemed supply as adequate, after all most of them did not have much orders for finished goods on hand.
Demand was slack in the first quarter amid the Lunar New Year holidays in February. Most factories in China were shut for some two weeks with workers back home for the festivities. Users were also hesitant to stock up in view of the ongoing trade spat between the US and China. Tariffs have been proposed for made in China appliances. Most buyers bought on a need-to basis and kept inventories low. Buying momentum remained weak in March with buyers still in a wait-and-see mode.
European acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) supply in Q1 2019 remained balanced. Towards the end of the first quarter, production issues in the feedstock markets for styrene, butadiene and acrylonitrile had been a cause for concern. But ABS material has also been available from Asia, and cheap imports were acquired at competitive prices.
European ABS demand in Q1 2019 was mixed among market players. Automotive demand has continuously remained weak due to the restructuring of the sector since 2018 and the EU’s stricter emissions regulations. Off-road vehicles and sanitary products have seen good demand, and household electronic appliances have seen stable buying patterns. The first quarter saw customers restocking ahead of styrene turnarounds.
US supply of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) was stable, as the domestic supply continued to be supplemented by imports.
US ABS demand was good throughout the first quarter. US market participants are continuing to watch for improved demand in Asia, which would likely increase upward pressure on values.
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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.