US Acetic Acid Prices Show Sluggish Trend, No Hope in Sight Till Year-End
- 11-Oct-2023 4:36 PM
- Journalist: Yage Kwon
In the initial week of October, Acetic Acid prices in the US market have shown a rangebound trend. This shift is driven by consistent demand from the Acetic Acid downstream ethyl and butyl acetate market, which are used in the construction industry.
This rangebound price of Acetic Acid is fuelled by the recovery of home prices following a steep decline in the first half of 2023. Supply levels have also decreased, and data from the Case-Shiller Index reveals a 1% year-over-year increase in the median home price in July, marking a 6% rise since the index's low point in January. While overall market data shows a year-over-year decline, specific housing markets are experiencing notable growth, with location emerging as a crucial factor.
Some expensive housing markets and regions that witnessed significant growth from 2020 to 2022 now face price reductions, while others thrive due to affordability, low housing supply, and high demand. Affordability remains a major concern for homebuyers, especially in areas with high home prices and mortgage rates exceeding 7%. Low-cost housing markets, particularly in the Midwest, are currently popular due to their affordability in home prices and living costs.
Not all markets are observing price increases; high-cost markets, particularly in the Western US, are undergoing declines. For example, Seattle and Portland have recorded year-over-year decreases in median sales prices. Moreover, specific large urban gateway areas are contending with challenges like homelessness, remote work trends, underutilization of public transit, and decreased foot traffic, influencing the allure of urban living in those cities. Additionally, production costs in the Acetic Acid market did not experience significant changes, leading to no substantial shift in cost pressures from the production front. Furthermore, demand from the international market remained largely subdued for the Acetic Acid market. These factors have contributed to the restrained growth of the Acetic Acid market in the US.
According to the ChemAnalyst database, short-term projections suggest that Acetic Acid prices are poised to increase initially. This upward turn is attributed to the escalating prices of Acetic Acid feedstock Methanol, strong demand from Acetic Acid downstream industries such as Ethyl and Butyl Acetate as demand from the construction industries is expected to remain firm in the short run, and the anticipated rise in production costs associated with the expected increase in Natural Gas prices. However, looking ahead in the long run, the forecast indicates a decline in Acetic Acid prices due to significant market destocking activities and lowering demand from Ethyl Acetate and Butyl Chemicals