ACN prices have spiked to US2500/ton CFR Asia, rising by US$300-$400/ton over the past three months on a supply crunch triggered by maintenance shutdowns in the region, rising propylene costs and robust demand from downstream Acrylic Fibre sector. The strong prices in Asia had attracted cargoes from Mexico and Brazil as per ICIS. Acrylic fibre makers expect ACN spot prices to fall/steady in June, as the supply crunch eases with the completion of turnarounds at regional plants and in line with the expected easing in US propylene costs.
At current levels, ACN are estimated to have hit a peak with seller estimation that any further price increase will damage demand as high ACN prices have eroded margins of downstream AF industry. Japanese producer Asahi Kasei has nominated surprisingly low prices for April and May contracts, in a consistent attempt to stabilise the market. April contract price of US$2200/ton was rolled over for May cargoes, down by US$300/ton from prevailing spot prices to sustain current demand as the company attempts to stabilise the market and support stable growth in demand.