Quarterly Update on Global 2-Ethylhexanol Market
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Supplies of 2-Ethylhexanol (2-EH) in the North American region improved over the previous quarter after the winter storm Uri disrupted Q1 dynamics. Refinery operating rates were ramped up and the production of oxo-alcohols was bolstered as the several regional facilities resumed production to normalize the supply fundamentals. Due to backlog of orders, OQ chemicals surged the prices of 2-Ethylhexanol by USD 665 per MT at the starting of the quarter. Due to the traditional demand season and pick up in the construction activities, offtakes from the paints and coatings sector showed substantial gains. Pricing trend stabilized after observing m-o-m increment of 33.34% in April. FOB Texas discussions settled at USD 2880 per tonne in June.
During the second quarter of 2021, oxo-alcohol supply conditions in the Asia Pacific region improved as several major manufacturing plants ramped up production to cope with the recovering demand and persistent supply shortage since the first half of Q1. However, the market outlook in India remained severely impacted due to the devastating second wave of COVID, as the construction activities in several states were halted and offtakes were restricted by the automotive and plasticizers industry. Indian producers reported strong margins due to slackening import volumes. Pricing trend in India observed a gradual increment in June after observing the constant decline in the second quarter with Ex-Works Mumbai discussions settling at USD 1956 per tonne in June. The demand outlook in China was primarily driven by strengthening constructional activities with economic rebound.
During Q2 2021, 2-EH supplies in the European region were improved as the region’s largest oxo-alcohol producer Oxea resumed operation at Oberhausen (Germany) plant after temporary closure due to fire breakout. As a ripple effect, the prices of 2-Ethylhexanol (2-EH) prices dropped by USD 24 per tonne to USD 1140 per tonne FD NWE at the starting of the quarter. The demand outlook in the European region showed mixed sentiments as during the start of the quarter, commercial activities were limited due to the pandemic situation. However, with the mass vaccine programme, market sentiments gained pace with the rebound in the construction sector.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
During the first quarter of 2021, 2-EH supplies were tight in the North American region as various manufacturers in mid-February announced force majeures, due to unprecedented severe freeze weather conditions in Texas and nearby US Gulf region. The demand however stood balanced as consumption from the downstream plasticizer sector was tepid. Prices of almost all oxo-alcohols took a big hit during the quarter due to supply crunch. OQ chemicals surged the prices of 2-Ethyl Hexanol in March by USD 630/ton against the limited availability of feedstock.
2-Ethyl Hexanol supplies were tight in the Asia Pacific region, during Q1 2021, due to persistent market tightness due to plant turnarounds heard in China. The global supply shortage and reduction in Propylene supplies dented the supply dynamics. Demand witnessed mixed results in Q1 2021 as offtakes from the downstream Plasticizers sector were balanced. The prices of 2-Ethyl Hexanol in the southeast Asian market in March remained around USD 2090/MT. In March, Ex-factory prices in India gained by over 30% growth on month-on-month basis taking strong cues from the international markets. Even higher crude oil lent strong support to the price curve.
2-EH supplies were tight in the first quarter of 2021, as several plants were shut down and reduced production rates in the northwest European region amid cold weather. US oxo-alcohol supplies to the region declined by 50% as the bad weather-related disruptions hit the gulf coast. However, demand witnessed a marked uptrend in the first quarter, due to better offtakes from the downstream sectors. As the supply-demand gap widened, there was an abrupt surge in the prices of 2-Ethyl Hexanol during the first quarter.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
The Asian 2-Ethylhexanol (2-EH) market moved steadily in Q3 2020 as economies took a road to recovery from the pandemic blows. China and most of the Southeast Asian countries reported a strong price increase buoyed by hike in the feedstock Propylene Oxide as they entered the September month. Chinese players registered incredible gains in the downstream plasticizers demand. However, Chinese 2-EH players are expecting restricted supplies in the October month and further price rise due to scheduled plant turnarounds
The third quarter showed mixed results in the North American 2-EH market while the players continued to navigate the impact of double whammy due to COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura across major economies. Outlook remained pressured owing to hurt sentiments in the United States while major players like Eastman announced price increase for the 2-EH amid an increase in the upstream Propylene values. Regional demand for the plasticizers picked up from the downstream construction and automobile-manufacturing sectors making 2-EH manufacturers go along with the crests and trough on the path of recovery.
2-EH availability seemed better in Q3 2020 after planned and unplanned production outages in the region in the previous quarter. However, impacted derivative markets are yet to respond to the good news. The European 2-EH players reported better exports, thereby limiting the local availability. Demand outlook is projected to remain quite healthy for the October month from the paints and coatings sector, as well as from the fuel additives as players stand cautious amid uneven economic situation due to rising coronavirus cases.