Vienna — The European acrylonitrile market is likely to move lower in coming weeks as consumption continues to shrink under the pressure of persistently high feedstock costs, industry sources said Tuesday on the sidelines of the annual EPCA conference in Vienna.
The bulk of ACN derivatives have been struggling in the face of high ACN prices this year, with fiber and ABS industries in particular often unable to pass higher feedstock costs to their clients.
Spot ACN prices have been hovering around $2,100/mt since August, the highest levels since April 2012.
Fiber consumers in particular have been unable to afford ACN, which saw them choosing to cut run rates.
Turkey-based AKSA, the world’s largest acrylic fiber producer, cut its run rates by 40% at end of September, meaning there will be a 12,000 mt drop in ACN consumption a month, a source close to the company said previously.
In southern Europe, another fiber producer stopped production earlier this year, several sources said.
In another derivative, ABS, used widely as a feedstock for production of household goods, toys and in the car manufacturing, producers have found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Facing pressure from more competitive imports, ABS producers were unable to increase prices to recover feedstock cost increases. As a result ABS production margins have deteriorated and question marks were placed over operating rates at the European plants.
The strength in the ACN market was triggered by production issues, with Ineos announcing force majeure on supplies in Europe in June at its plant in Cologne, Germany, and Seal Sands, UK.
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Source: S&P Global Platts