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ABS sellers face resistance in Asia ahead of high season

  • 14/09/2016 (03:24)
Players in China and Southeast Asia reported a lack of interest in import ABS offers particularly for the high end of the ranges. Sellers admit facing resistance, acknowledging that they may have to concede to discounts to stir some buying interest. This situation is in place despite the expectations about an improvement in ABS demand for the last quarter.

A Malaysian producer said that demand remains weak and they will need to adjust their offers down to be able to conclude some deals. “The highest level of bids we can receive is at least $40-50/ton below our current offer levels,” added the producer.

A trader offering Taiwanese ABS on the high end of the range in China agreed about the reluctance on the buyers’ side. “Considering that this price does not find acceptance, some step-back could be essential.”

Unlike the rest of the market, a Taiwanese producer claimed to have applied a modest increase on its ABS offers both to China and Southeast Asia this week, justifying it with higher ACN and butadiene prices. However, a company source also admitted, “Overall demand from end users is slow and traders are generally depleting their inventory by offering lower than the producers.”

Indeed, buyers have received competitive offers from traders as well as a Korean supplier in the past few weeks both in China and Southeast Asia. Pointing to the gap of $60/ton between the high end and the low end of the offers, a Chinese buyer said, “The Taiwanese producer on the high end may have to give in to some discounts.”

On the other hand, there are expectations voiced about a revival in demand for the last quarter among some players.

In Southeast Asia, an Indonesian buyer said, “Demand is improving albeit only slowly. Therefore, we are not in a hurry to purchase. Rather than imports, local prices are more competitive.” A second buyer said that they maintain their needs only buying in the midst of the slight revival of their end business. A Malaysian trader also expects demand to progress in October, although he also does not think that buyers will buy beyond their needs.

A Chinese producer, who held its ABS offers unchanged this week in the domestic market, reported, “Demand for ABS is not bad as the high season for ABS applications generally corresponds to September and October while the July- August period is the low season.”
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