HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices in the freely negotiated contract market have not retreated in May, primarily because of good demand, heading into this year's National Plastics Exposition (NPE).
US ABS prices remain unchanged, even as buyers have been able to purchase Asian ABS at cheaper prices over the last couple of months. This is largely because demand in China did not materialise after the Lunar New Year holidays the way it was expected to.
Prior to the holidays, China was the preferred destination for Asian ABS due to more favourable pricing than the US.
However, ABS prices in Asia have started to rebound since mid-April. Supply in northeast Asia is expected to be stable in May, and downstream demand is expected to pick up in northeast and southeast Asia.
ICIS-assessed US ABS prices are strictly formula-based and tied to upstream price movements.
ICIS ABS prices for the week ending 2 May were 137-160 cents/lb for injection and extrusion grades, FD (free delivered) US.
North American ABS producers include A Schulman, INEOS Styrolution, SABIC and Trinseo.