Introduction: The Chinese acrylonitrile market is stagnant. Producers’ sales are good and the inventory is low. However, traders sell goods with difficulties, getting limited profits. What are reasons for the difference between acrylonitrile producers and traders?
Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited raised its offers by RMB 100/mt to RMB 12,600/mt. Sinopec hold stable offers, but offers were expected to move up. The overall sales were normal, and offers remained firm.
Firstly, the overall inventory is at a low level. The old unit at Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited is undergoing maintenance. The operating rate is around 82%. The Line 3 and Line 4 at PetroChina Jilin Petrochemical will undergo a 22-day maintenance from March 27. The supply of Chinese-made acrylonitrile will continue to be tight. Moreover, the imported market is firm. Offers have reached $1,550/mt CFR China, being equivalent to RMB 13,000/mt. There is no advantage for imported goods when comparing with the price of Chinese-made one.
Second, producers sell resources to downstream users directly. The operating rates of ABS and acrylic fibers are 85% and 95% respectively, which supports the acrylonitrile market. Most downstream users purchase resources via contracts. So, producers sell goods well.
However, traders saw different situation. They mainly stocked up at the end of February and the cost was around RMB 12,100/mt. Furthermore, traders are consuming inventories stocked before. Then, traders’ downstream users are some small-sized users and the demand is limited. Traders’ offers are even lower than offers from acrylonitrile producers.
In the short term, the inventory of acrylonitrile producers will continue to be tight and offers may be higher. However, some acrylic fibers units will undergo maintenance in April and May. And the ABS operating rate may slide. Hence, the acrylonitrile market may inch up in the short term.
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