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ABS markets remain indifferent to bullish ACN costs in Asia, Europe

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 24/10/2017 (04:21)
ABS prices both in Europe and Asia are expected to remain weak in the near term despite surging spot ACN prices in global markets amid tightness. ACN shortage from the US given Hurricane Harvey have boosted supply woes across the board as spot ACN prices in Asia and Europe have posted respective increases of around $300/ton and $350/ton since mid-September.

However, ABS prices have witnessed decreases this month, defying the drastic increases in ACN, the proportion of which is around %25 in making ABS.

In China, ABS prices started to soften in the week before the holiday and have retained their softening since then, despite some sellers’ efforts to maintain their levels citing limited availability. The import market in Southeast Asia has also followed suit. Although ACN prices have been on a bullish run, plunging styrene and fading demand have dominated the sentiment.

Players in Asia think that ABS prices will continue to be soft in line with slow demand for both styrene and ABS; however, the peak season for home appliances is approaching, which might tip the balance and limit the size of the expected drops.

In Europe, meanwhile, October deals were closed with rollovers to slight decreases due to availability issues, which lasted until mid-October while the re-opening of the railway line in Germany paved the way for improving supplies across Europe and demand tailed off accordingly.

Expectations are now calling for a softer November outlook in Europe as styrene contracts are expected to settle with another round of decreases. A distributor in Belgium commented, “The November outlook is bearish on the back of softer styrene and the approaching year-end.” Sales pressure on the sellers’ side will increase in December, as several players argue.
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