Spot ABS prices in China posted steep declines over the past week, with most players attributing the drop to weak demand, as per ChemOrbis. The recent slowdown in manufacturing activity in China along with the government’s ongoing efforts to fight inflation were cited among the main factors weighing down on demand, with some players also commenting that buying interest has been hampered by persistently high ABS costs, which have encouraged some end users to opt for HIPS as a substitute. According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, tightening credit within the country along with the end of government subsidy programs has led to a slowdown in demand growth for home appliances, with growth in home appliance demand falling 17.9% in April.
Two Korean producers reported cutting prices to China by US$50-100/ton last week in an effort to speed up sales, with the producers complaining of scarce buying interest even after significant price reductions. The overall import ABS range on a CFR China basis declined by US$80-120/ton over the past week as traders also implemented significant decreases on prices over the past week. Sellers complained that demand has not shown any real improvement after their price cuts, adding that they are concerned about the possibility of further price declines in the days ahead.
Domestic ABS also posted considerable declines in the Chinese market over the past week, with offers for Chinese ABS falling by CNY600-800/ton (US$93-123/ton) and offers for locally-held import cargoes dropping CNY300-500/ton (US$46-77/ton). Sellers offering to China’s local market echoed comments about slower demand while adding that buyers in the domestic market are also proceeding cautiously in purchases based on their expectations of seeing further price declines in the coming week.