For the Quarter Ending December 2023
In the US, the Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) market witnessed contrasting trends in January, marked by an overall increase in prices driven by favorable feedstock pricing in major exporting countries. The domestic downstream Automobile market showed a positive trajectory with month-on-month rise in vehicle sales in the respective quarter, reaching 15.8 million units (annualized) in December, exceeding expectations.
The imbalance between demand and supply, particularly notable in new orders from suppliers, contributed to the incline. South Korea, a key ASA exporter, played a role in this price fluctuation. Despite increased consumption of upstream crude oil, sufficient inventory levels among manufacturers restrained price support. The economic landscape in 2023, shaped by inflation and interest rates, influenced commercial real estate dynamics.
Notably, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) headline indicated a 0.3% month-on-month rise in inflation for December. The contrasting trends in the US ASA market highlight the intricate interplay between domestic factors and global influences on pricing dynamics. As of Fourth Quarter ending the price of the Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate concluded at 2730 USD/MT CFR – Texas marking an incline of 10.08%.
In APAC majorly South Korea, Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) prices have recently experienced an upward trajectory attributed to heightened feedstock costs, particularly Acrylonitrile and Acrylate Esters. Despite this, the domestic market witnessed a notable 12.9% decline in new vehicle sales for December compared to the previous year, totaling 114,290 units. However, the overall vehicle sales across the major importing nation witnessed a notable rise. Manufacturing production levels remained stable in November, with a slight decrease in incoming new business offset by a renewed decline in backlogged work. While inflationary pressures eased in the final month of 2023, companies reported rising raw material prices. The supply of ASA in South Korea exhibited a moderate trend, influenced by reduced industrial activities indicated by a slight decrease in the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data. Despite the moderate performance in the automobile and construction sectors, demand from major importing countries like the US and India remained robust. The price surge is primarily linked to increased feedstock prices and an imbalance in the demand-supply chain. The quarter concluded with a price of USD 2550/MT for Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) FOB Busan in South Korea.
During the fourth quarter of 2023, the Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) market in Germany saw an upward trajectory driven by increased costs from its major exporter, South Korea. Despite encountering challenges in the automotive sector, characterized by a substantial 23% year-on-year decrease in new car registrations in December, and complications in the construction industry due to market uncertainty and elevated interest rates, the ASA market experienced a decline in demand. However, prices exhibited an upward trend due to limited players in the market. The surge in prices was notably linked to the rising importing costs, as Germany does not manufacture Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA). Economic indicators, including the German Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), indicated a subdued recovery with hurdles in the automobile and construction sectors influencing the demand for the Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) in the European market. As the quarter concluded, the price of Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) reached 2750 USD/MT CFR-Hamburg, representing a noteworthy incline of 9.25%.