EU ABS imports remain overall low, according to the latest trade data by Eurostat.
The July data shows that total imports were slightly higher but were down versus July 2019.
The European Union (EU) before the pandemic was a net importer of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
South Korea was and still is the major exporter of ABS to Europe.
However, the latest figures show imports from the country in July was the lowest in the last three years.
The scarcity and high prices of tankers during the pandemic are likely keeping imports of ABS low during the pandemic.
Despite the lower prices in Asia compared to Europe lately, there has been little change in the trend established during the pandemic.
And since cost of freight and availability have not improved, it is likely that ABS imports will remain low until next year.
Imports are an important component of ABS supply in Europe, representing approximately 40% of the total. Therefore, this trend will continue to fuel the shortages.
Therefore, ABS remains extremely tight in Europe on the back of good demand, supply issues, but also low imports from Asia.