Asia ABS firm in cautious trade; suppliers target higher numbers

04:13' PM - Wednesday, 03/07/2019

Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices were firm, with suppliers continuing to target higher numbers.

While a trade truce between the US and China was reached in late June during the G20 summit in Japan, most ABS buyers remained cautious as current tariffs remained.

Spot ABS prices remained mostly in the low- to high-$1,400/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia levels, according to ICIS data.

Some offers were raised by $50/tonne this week.

“Buyers mostly remained in a wait-and-see stance,” a Taiwan-based producer said.

Tariffs have been imposed on made-in-China appliances, of which ABS resins are used for outer casings.

Market sentiment among ABS users failed to improve much as business conditions have not changed.

While trade talks have restarted between the US and China, concrete solutions to resolve the spat were deemed limited.

The US-China trade war is about to mark its first year on 6 July, with tariffs of up to 25% imposed on a total of $360bn worth of goods between the two economic giants.

“The tariffs that have already been imposed remains and that does not help the ABS trade,” a trader in China said.

ABS is the largest volume engineering thermoplastic resin and is used in automobiles, electronics, appliances and recreational products.

ABS makers' margins have improved in recent weeks as prices of the resin rose. Feedstock acrylonitrile (ACN) values declined to $1,700/tonne CFR NE Asia in June, after topping $2,000/tonne CFR NE Asia in May.

Other feedstock styrene monomer (SM) and butadiene (BD) have showed marginal movements in June and remained under $1,100/tonne CFR NE Asia. - Source: ICIS -

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