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Will ABS prices rise for a 3rd month in Europe?

  • 26/04/2016 (03:51)
ABS deals are being completed with increases for a second consecutive month in April across Europe on the back of firmer feedstock costs as well as reports of reduced supply. Players are questioning whether the current upward momentum is sustainable for a third month in May.

In Italy, buyers are reporting price hikes of €80-100/ton on their April ABS deals compared to last month. A compounder commented, “We paid price hikes of up to €100/ton both for locally-held Asian and European origins. We heard that some European producers are delaying their deliveries due to tight availability while supply from Asia is regular. Our end product demand is stable.”

Regarding the May outlook, many buyers are projecting a new round of increases in the ABS market considering that supply is unlikely to lengthen by then. However, the upward trend might lose pace depending on the movements in the upstream markets.

Spot styrene prices on an FOB NWE basis are suggesting an increase of over $40/ton compared to the beginning of April and spot ACN prices also gained some ground in the second half of the month. Meanwhile spot butadiene prices remained unchanged for the most part of April.

The sentiment also remains firm in the West European ABS market in the last week of April. A distributor in France reported concluding some April ABS deals up €90-100/ton from last month, adding that he expects styrene contracts to settle with an increase of €50/ton for May. A converter in Austria reported receiving the most recent ABS offers with increases of €100/ton from last month, but added that he is negotiating to pay slightly smaller price hikes of €80/ton.

In Germany, several buyers made some purchases with increases of €80-100/ton from March. The buyers are projecting further firming for May considering reduced supply as well as higher styrene costs, though at a slower pace compared to this month.

To track weekly developments and see the latest prices in the West European ABS market, please see our newly launched NWE Weekly ABS Analysis (For members only)
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