Acrylonitrile Global Trade Trends

For most of the last ten years the volume of acrylonitrile (ACN) traded globally has trended downward. The exception was the period 2018 to 2021 when trade volume initially increased, then steadied, paralleling the trend in global trade in ABS polymer, its largest end use. There have been major shifts in ACN trade between regions over the period.

Acrylonitrile is used in ABS, SAN, styrene-butadiene rubber latex and acrylic fibers, among other end uses. The volume of global trade in ACN in 2014 was 1.69 million tons; in 2023 it is projected to have fallen to 1.45 million tons, below what it was ten years prior.

Global trade in ABS was 4.13 million tons in 2014 and 2015; in 2023 it is projected at 3.86 million tons, also below its level in 2014.

In the graph comparing key trends by region from 2014 to 2023, note the expansion in trade within the Asia-Pacific region and the major drop in the region’s imports from other regions. For Western Europe, intra-regional trade has remained steady, exports have fallen substantially, imports have risen slightly. Prominent in North America is the drop in the region’s exports.

Regional trends are reflected in trends for top ACN exporting and importing countries over the five-year period, 2019 to 2023 (projected). Exports include all destinations; imports, all sources. Netherland’s exports in 2019 are derived from trading partner import statistics.

On the export side, note steady shipments from the Netherlands, a sharp drop in US exports and a jump in exports from China. On the import side note the drop in imports into China; increased volumes into Turkey and India.

From International Trader Publications’ World Trade Analyses on ACN and ABS, continuously updated online analyses of trade developed from trade statistics from all available countries.