Asia ABS extend losses on soft demand, weak feedstock

Author: Clive Ong


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices extended losses this week on persistently tepid demand in the key Chinese market.

Some buyers were initially planning to pick up some parcels in early week, believing that prices might have bottomed out. However, the slippage in key feedstock styrene monomer (SM) prompted them to retreat to the sidelines.

Spot SM prices slipped to around $1,100/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China this week, from above $1,400/tonne CFR China in the first half of October.

“Prices have declined again as buyers were slow to commit,” said a trader in China.

Spot prices fell below $1,550/tonne CFR China for certain brands while other sellers managed to conclude deals at $1,580-1,640/tonne CFR China.

“Spot prices lost around $50/tonne this week as demand remained lacklustre,” said a producer in Taiwan.

ABS resins are used for appliances, toys, consumer electronics as well as in the automotive and construction sector.

The ongoing US-China trade war also continued to dampen sentiment of ABS players. Demand in China is expected to remain weak into the year-end with the third quarter manufacturing for exports season ended in October.

“There seems to be some panic selling in China this week as sellers tried to reduce inventories,” said a producer in southeast Asia.

With the prospect of further decline in prices in the near term, traders were also keen to offload in-hand stocks to minimise losses.

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