LONDON (ICIS)--The European acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) market has seen subdued activity this week as April business has long been concluded and players are already preparing for May contract price negotiations, sources said on Friday.
The discussions are expected to begin next week as soon as the monthly feedstock styrene barge contract has settled.
According to spot market indications, most players expect styrene to record another three-digit drop in May that will not be below €100/tonne and could go as high as €150/tonne.
ABS demand remains on a healthy level as May order entry looks promising although a bit slower until lower prices will be definite.
Asian players have not been very actively present in the European market during the past months, but this is expected to change later in May.
Import activity is expected to pick up, but it is quite unclear how much volume will be arriving in Europe and how competitive prices can be.
There is a lot of talk in the market about the return of the Asian players but nothing specific for the time being, players said.