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Spot acrylonitrile prices in Asia look set to rise further

November 23/2011

(ICIS) -- Spot acrylonitrile (ACN) prices in Asia look set to rise further, after rebounding from six months of steady decline, as supply has tightened and buying interest from China has emerged, industry sources said on Wednesday.

ACN prices have gained about 5% over the past two weeks to $1,650-1,700/tonne (?1,221-1,258/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast Asia), recovering from a 45% slump between late April to early November, according to ICIS.

Prices bottomed out on 4 November at $1,550-1,650/tonne CFR NE Asia, the data showed.
With regional producers having limited cargoes to sell to the spot market because of a spate of production cutbacks and plant turnarounds since October, ACN prices are likely to continue rising.
ACN is used in the production of acrylic fibres, which go into clothing and home furnishings such as carpets, upholstery and cushions.

Major ACN producers in Asia, including Japans Asahi Kasei, South Koreas Taekwang Industrial, Chinas Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical and Taiwans Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) have been running their plants at reduced rates of 80% of capacities in the past month because of weak demand and poor economics.

Other ACN producers, including Chinas Jilin Petrochemical shut down two of its four lines in early October because of weak economics. Each of the two lines has a capacity of 106,000 tonnes/year.
Jilins two other ACN lines, each with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes/year, are running normally, said a company source.

Perspectives of development of the polymers markets, pricing issues and other important aspects will be discussed at The Polymers Summit-2011, which will be held in Moscow on November 30, 2011 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Summit is organized by MRC with the support of ICIS. The main idea of the Summit is to find a "the golden mean" between producers and converters. When producers receive exactly such margin of production, which helps them to invest in production expansion in order to substitute polymers imports, and the converters receive such price of feedstock that helps them to compete imported finished products. The Summit site gives an access to the live video of the Summit, speakers" presentations, as well as opportunities to ask questions or make appointments to any Summit partcipant.

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