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Acrylonitrile Prices Surge in Europe as Production Rate Face Strain
Acrylonitrile Prices Surge in Europe as Production Rate Face Strain

Acrylonitrile Prices Surge in Europe as Production Rate Face Strain

  • 17-Oct-2023 5:15 PM
  • Journalist: Nina Jiang

The Acrylonitrile price increased in the European region at the start of October 2023 amid moderate offtakes from buyers. The Acrylonitrile inventories were inadequately available in the regional market amid stressed operational rates because of the weak availability of feedstock Propylene and Ammonia supplies.

The unplanned Plant shutdown activities at BP in Gelsenkirchen-Horst during early September 2023, with a feedstock Propylene production capacity of 75,000 MTPA, stressed the feedstock Propylene availability and affected the production rates of Acrylonitrile.

At the same time, fertilizer restocking practices increased in agriculture before the Autumn planting season. It raised the Ammonia demand. Meanwhile, supplies remained tight from exporters due to stressed inventory levels and weak production rates. Yara International ASA, with a feedstock Ammonia production capacity of 36944 TPM, went under Force Majeure from 20 September 2023 to 30 September 2023. It stressed the feedstock Ammonia availability in the region.

The weak availability of feedstock Propylene and Ammonia due to plant shutdown activities negatively impacted the production rates. At the same time, the cost support was high on feedstock Propylene due to the escalation in Brent Crude Oil prices during the last month because of high demand amid Crude Oil production cuts by Russia and OPEC+. Consequently, an increment of 1.5% was observed in the Acrylonitrile prices during the first half of October 2023. According to the recent ChemAnalyst data sources, the Acrylonitrile prices in Germany hovered at USD 1330/MT.

The inquiries for Acrylonitrile decreased from Nitrile Butadiene Rubber manufacturers because of declined orders from the Automotive sector. Meanwhile, the demand and procurement activities were stable in the Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and Acrylic Acid industries. At the same time, inquiries improved from Styrene Acrylonitrile manufacturers due to increased consumption rates from end-user industries. Furthermore, the hike in bank interest rates by the European Central Bank towards the end of the month resulted in a decline in demand from buyers, causing a slowdown in the Eurozone growth. Consequently, the Eurozone manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index dropped marginally and remained below 50 at the end of September 2023, indicating some contractions in the manufacturing sector activities.

As per the assessment, the Acrylonitrile prices will remain firm and increase in the European region due to inadequate availability of supplies in the regional market. The Acrylonitrile offtakes will likely remain consistent from downstream Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene manufacturers because of increasing demand for plastic resin from end-user electronic and Automotive manufacturers during the final quarter of 2023.

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