Global 2-EHA Prices Surge in March as Demand from Downstream Rises
 Global 2-EHA Prices Surge in March as Demand from Downstream Rises

Global 2-EHA Prices Surge in March as Demand from Downstream Rises

  • 19-Mar-2024 5:45 PM
  • Journalist: Motoki Sasaki

During the first half of March 2024, the global 2- Ethylhexanoic Acid (2-EHA) market experienced a surge. This was largely influenced by the escalating prices of essential raw material, Crude Oil, in the global market. The price hike was also attributed to ongoing production cuts enforced by various OPEC+ member nations, particularly Moscow and Riyadh, who aim to extend these measures until mid-2024 in exporting countries. Consequently, this increase in costs has led to higher-priced imports and exerted upward pressure on the prices of oil derivatives, including 2-EHA. Furthermore, demand for 2-EHA from downstream industries such as paints and coatings remained strong during this period.

During the initial half of March 2024, positive market sentiment prevailed in the North American 2-EHA market. Various industry sources have noted a significant uptick in activity within the US construction sector in recent weeks, with expectations for continued growth, reinforcing the present pricing trajectory of 2-EHA. The enhancements in the US construction sector have been characterized by a rise in renovations within the hotel industry and a shortage of existing homes across the country, prompting an increase in homebuilding activities. Furthermore, robust exports of 2-EHA to the Mexican market, driven by intensified nearshoring endeavours, continued to contribute to price escalation, further straining product inventories amid heightened demand from the plumbing sector. These combined factors stimulated demand for 2-EHA, a vital component in construction paints and coatings. Additionally, Jerome Powell, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank, opted against reducing interest rates due to uncertain inflationary conditions, maintaining rates steady at 5.25% to 5.5%. Presently, US inflation rates stood at 3.1% in February, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising by 0.3% in February 2024 and expected to rise further.

In line with the global trend, the 2-EHA market in Europe is experiencing a steady rise in prices, mainly fuelled by heightened demand. This surge is particularly evident due to the consistent strengthening of demand from the paints and coatings industry. Market analysis reveals that the demand for 2-EHA has notably increased, with a 24% rise in new car production being a significant indicator of its high consumption in automotive paints and coatings. As the automotive sector continues to grow and expand, the need for 2-EHA is on the rise, further propelling its price upwards. Furthermore, recent data from Eurostat indicates a modest decrease in Euro area annual inflation to 2.7% in February 2024, down from 2.8% in January 2024. Germany, one of the key players in the European economy, witnessed a similar decline, with its annual inflation rate dropping to 2.7% in February from 3.1% the previous month. These figures suggest a nuanced economic landscape where inflationary pressures remain, albeit with a slight moderation, reflecting the ongoing dynamics of the European market.

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