Acrylonitrile prices surged in the European market due to depletion in stocks
Acrylonitrile prices surged in the European market due to depletion in stocks

Acrylonitrile prices surged in the European market due to depletion in stocks

  • 07-May-2024 3:18 PM
  • Journalist: Yage Kwon

In April 2024, the Acrylonitrile price trend showcased an upward movement in the European region, and prices rose by almost 4% during the month amid the reduction in available stockpiles of goods within the market. The supply of Acrylonitrile stocks was limited in the market due to production rate disruptions in key producers like the Netherlands, coupled with rising production costs. At the same time, the Acrylonitrile offtakes were moderate from the downstream industries, ascribed to a decline in manufacturing activities for end products that occurred amid cautious purchasing behaviour among end buyers in the retail sector, driven by escalating inflation and living expenses in the region.

AnQore B.V., located in Geleen, Netherlands, with an Acrylonitrile production capacity of 23750 TPM, was under maintenance shutdown from 1st April 2024 to 10th April. It impacted the availability of the product in the regional market. Additionally, the decline in skilled foreign labor due to rising racial tensions in the producing country likely impacted operating rates at manufacturing units. Many well-known companies in Germany and the Netherlands have expressed worries about recruitment difficulties stemming from anti-immigrant sentiment. Some employers have publicly acknowledged facing staff turnover directly related to this sentiment. The scarcity of skilled workers has resulted in interruptions to production schedules, potentially diminishing output, and escalating costs. Furthermore, the industries were confronting an energy crisis due to the subdued LNG exports from US exporters due to the decline in Natural Gas stocks in North America, which raised variable production costs.

Meanwhile, the cost support on production costs of Acrylonitrile was stable from feedstock Ammonia attributed to stabilization in demand for fertilizers amid the ongoing farmer protests in the region. However, import prices of Ammonia were firm as Exporters raised their Ammonia quotations due to increased demand from fertilizer manufacturers in the international market, coinciding with the beginning of the planting season. On the contrary, the cost support from feedstock Propylene eased, driven by the accumulation of inventories and firm supplies of upstream Propylene from US exporters prompted by an increase in upstream Propane supplies because of increased production in the Gulf Coast.

Concurrently, the demand for Acrylonitrile remained stable from the downstream industries amid moderate consumption for end products from the manufacturing and automotive sectors. Conclusively, the Acrylonitrile FD Hamburg quotations were hovering at USD 1400/MT at the end of April 2024.

As per the estimation, the Acrylonitrile prices will increase further during the middle of Q2 2024. The demand for Acrylonitrile is anticipated to remain firm in the market. Meanwhile, the supply availability may remain moderate to low because of the blank sailings’ phenomena. Furthermore, the feedstock Propylene supplies may remain limited from US exporters, which will impact the production rates of Acrylonitrile in the regional manufacturing units.

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