ABS sentiment is bullish in both Italy and Turkey as stronger global trends and steadily rising feedstock costs are pushing prices higher in spite of buyers’ resistance to firmer offer levels as per the pricing service of ChemOrbis. Buyers in both countries are bracing for further price hike announcements for February as feedstock prices have recorded sharp increases over the month and producers are struggling to achieve acceptable operating margins.
Players in Turkey reported that the country’s ABS market was quiet over the past week as many sellers had already finished their January sales and most producers have yet to nominate their February prices. “We believe that ABS prices will record significant increases next month,” reported a trader based in Turkey. “Upstream costs are putting strong upward pressure on prices.
However, demand is not all that great and will limit the size of next month’s increases as buyers will most likely show resistance to sellers’ initial price levels,” the trader added.
“We received stable offers for Taiwanese ABS last week but are expecting to see higher prices after the Chinese New Year holidays,” reported another trader in Turkey. “The market outlook is a bit cloudy for now as most players are waiting to see whether or not demand will pick up after the holidays in Asia,” the trader added.
“We left our offers to the local market unchanged this week as we did not want to scare away buyers. Our Asian suppliers are seeking significant price increases but we are skeptical as to whether or not buyers will accept these prices,” stated a distributor.
A similar trend is also in place in Italy, where significant price increases are said to be passing for January even though demand is not said to be very encouraging. “We had pre-bought some material in late December and have therefore been in no hurry to purchase this month,” a trader reported. “European sellers are seeking large price increases for this month which may pass as non-European import prices are not very competitive,” the trader added.
A converter manufacturing white goods stated that they purchased some European origins with significant month over month increases last week. “We are seeing fairly good demand for our end products and decided to purchase some material in accordance with our needs,” the buyer commented. “We are offering European ABS with triple digit increases from last month owing to higher costs, but we have been struggling to conclude deals as buyers are reluctant to agree to such large increases,” stated a trader.