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European ABS buyers cautious amidst strong hikes

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 17/01/2017 (10:27)
Following higher styrene and butadiene settlements, ABS prices emerged with increases of up to €100/ton compared to December. January styrene contracts were settled with €105/ton increases while butadiene settlements indicate €175/ton hikes from December. Some increases are expected to be absorbed in the ABS market, although buyers decided to take a wait and see stance and source only needed amounts as they think that the firming trend might cool off in the medium term.

In Italy, a sheet extruder reported that European ABS suppliers are aiming for €100/ton increases while a Taiwanese supplier’s new offers are showing larger hikes. The buyer commented, “We will postpone our purchases as we do not want to build stock at current levels. However, we believe that these hikes will be absorbed as buyers will need to start New Year restocking soon.”

A distributor attributed three digit hikes to the upward pressure from monomer costs and added, “Demand is flat for the time being as buyers are taking their time to be certain whether this uptrend will last or lose steam in February.”

A different distributor from France reported applying €80/ton hikes on slack demand, commenting, “We might apply another €20/ton on our prices depending on the market dynamics. Buying interest is still thin since this is the second consecutive month of three digit hikes on ABS prices, deterring buyers from purchasing. The firming trend may persist during January as butadiene costs are under certain pressure from firmer Asian prices and higher export prices to this region.”

According to ChemOrbis Price Index, spot ABS prices posted a cumulative increase of more than €200/ton on average in Northwest Europe in December and so far in January. ABS prices are currently quoted at €1750-1900/ton for both extrusion and injection on FD Italy, 60 days while they stand at €1790-1920/ton on FD NWE, 60 days deferred payment basis.
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