European Acrylonitrile Prices Surge at the End of Q1 2023 Amid Bearish Demand
European Acrylonitrile Prices Surge at the End of Q1 2023 Amid Bearish Demand

European Acrylonitrile Prices Surge at the End of Q1 2023 Amid Bearish Demand

  • 12-Apr-2023 3:22 PM
  • Journalist: Sasha Fernandes

Despite poor demand for Acrylonitrile in the international market, its prices witnessed a surge of almost 7% in the European region. While the regional demand for Acrylonitrile was underwhelmed in the Acrylates industries during the month as the production cuts of downstream Methyl Methacrylate dampened the demand for Acrylonitrile in the downstream sectors. Simultaneously, consumption rates from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene rubber manufacturers continued to remain frail.

As per the sources, the region's top Acrylonitrile manufacturer in Germany, INEOS Nitrile, with a production capacity of 190,000 tonnes per year, stopped its production in February 2023, which deprived the Acrylonitrile supplies in the region.

As per the ChemAnalyst data sources, Netherlands and Belgium prices settled at USD 1601/MT and USD 1673/MT, respectively, at the end of March 2023. Europe's Purchasing Manager's Index improved slightly but remained below 50, and Consumer Price Index rose during March 2023.

Initially, the feedstock Ammonia price trend was weak because of oversupplies. Simultaneously, the volatility in the Natural Gas prices and shifting Dutch TTF Natural Gas future oscillated the upstream cost pressure on feedstock Ammonia costs throughout the month. The demand for Ammonia from the fertilizer producer was weak, and Ammonia prices fell by 20% during March.

At the same time, Acrylonitrile's key feedstock Propylene prices were unstable amid shifting demand-supply and upstream Naphtha prices.

During March, BASF at Ludwigshafen Germany closed its several plants to compensate for the severe losses the company had to bear during the Q3 and Q4 of 2022. BASF closed its Ammonia plant with a production capacity of 880,000 Tonnes per year and associated facilities, which impacted the Acrylonitrile's production rates and supplies to the European market.

It is estimated that the demand for Acrylonitrile will remain soft from ABS rubber and Acrylates producers during April 2023. At the same time, production costs will increase amid firm upstream and feedstock prices, which will negatively impact the production rates and domestic inventory levels.

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