HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot export acrylonitrile (ACN) fell amid sluggish demand stemming from limited buying demand in Asia's downstream acrylic fibres (AF) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) markets.
US spot export ACN fell to $1,400-1,500/tonne FOB (free on board) in the US Gulf from $1,450-1,550/tonne the previous week.
Weaker buying interest pressured spot export prices down while producers focus on meeting strong contractual demand amid constrained supply in the domestic market.
Spot export availability remains limited because of lingering supply issues last year, and no trades were heard during the week.
Spot export material in Latin America was offered above the $1,500/tonne FOB range and received no attention amid weaker demand in the global market.
Domestic demand is healthy.
Spot export demand is expected to increase toward the end of January or early February after a major producer in Taiwan enters turnaround and demand for downstream AF and ABS begins to improve.
In the meantime, prices are expected to bottom out, tracking downward movements in upstream propylene values stemming from weak energy costs in the global market.
Spot export ACN-to-CGP spread
The following analytical graph shows how spot export ACN prices tend to loosely track movements in feedstock propylene costs.
Major producers of US ACN include Ascend Performance Materials, Cornerstone Chemicals and INEOS Nitriles.