For the Quarter Ending June 2022
Acetic Acid prices soared consistently during quarter two of 2022 in North America, backed by strong downstream demand and constraint supply. At the beginning of April, the Acetic Acid prices surged due to the increased demand for paints and coating and enhanced upstream costs caused by feedstock methanol price hikes. Until the last week of April, the prices continued their upward motion on the back of increased exports to Mexico and other European countries. The same supply problems carried themselves in May and led to a price hike of Acetic Acid. Furthermore, force majeures announced by major manufacturers such as Celanese and INEOS worsened the June situation and exacerbated Acetic Acid's value in North America.
Acetic acid prices fluctuated during the entire quarter in the Indian domestic market. Acetic Acid's value declined till May and regained its upward momentum in June. The primary reason behind these fluctuations was frequently changing demand and supply fundamentals. Furthermore, changes in trading frequencies from China also caused the market value of Acetic Acid to change during the entire quarter. The assessed price value of Acetic Acid (Glacial) at Ex-Kandla was USD 746/MT in June. The Acetic Acid prices rose in April and then started declining in the Chinese domestic market due to the weak purchasing momentum, overflowing inventories, and reduced exports from the country. Acetic Acid (Glacial) evaluated market value at FOB Qingdao was USD 774/MT in April, which inclined to USD 718/MT in June.
In Europe, the market value of Acetic Acid was rising continuously during quarter 2 of 2022, on account of supply shortages and the energy crisis. As major manufacturers such as Lyondell announced force majeures, the supply of Acetic Acid became constrained in the market. Furthermore, the prices of feedstock Methanol mainly were soaring during the entire period, adding to the already augmented price value of Acetic Acid. In addition, surging energy prices and freight charges amidst Russia-Ukraine war tensions further exacerbated the market value of Acetic Acid in the European countries. Thus, the Acetic Acid FD Hamburg prices assembled at USD 1851/MT in April, increased to USD 1975/MT in June, and marked a hike of 6.70%.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
In Q1 2022, the price of Acetic Acid slipped in the first half of the Q1 of 2022. Declining demand for Natural gas also diminished the prices of Methanol impacting the Acetic Acid market. With the deterred price, the downstream adhesive and preservative industries were pressurized as sufficient supply and deteriorating market impacted the enterprises. Towards the end of the first quarter, the price of Acetic Acid was observed to be USD 1397/ton FOB Louisiana. In the second half of the first quarter, the cost rose supported by low production rates and lack of raw materials such as methanol, as well as regular maintenance. This pricing pattern was observed as demand in the domestic market of the United States revived. Raw Material Methanol production on the United States' Gulf Coast was highly efficient, as supply improved in response to rebounding Acetic Acid demand. When compared to the previous quarter, the price of Acetic Acid slipped by 13.7% when compared with Q4 2021.
In Q1 2022, the price of Acetic Acid saw a continuous dip due to weak market and weak downstream derivative demand in the Asian region. Increase in imports from China and Southeast Asian countries created oversupplies in the regional market. The market sentiments went down supported by weak trading environment. Increase in product availability also affected its derivative market where the prices of Ethyl and Butyl Acetate also slipped. Despite surging prices of Natural Gas, feedstock Methanol prices seeks new direction with deteriorating demand from its downstream Petrochemical market. In India, the price of Acetic Acid towards the end of the first quarter were USD 595/ton CFR JNPT. During winter Olympics, the Acetic Acid plant in Henan Province, China was shut due to shortage of storage space, while other plants were operating stably. In China, the price of Acetic Acid was USD 940/ton FOB Qingdao in January 2022 to USD 744/ton FOB Qingdao towards the quarter ending March 2022. In India, the price of Acetic Acid slipped to 37.8% in the first quarter compared with Q4 2021.
In Germany, the Acetic Acid market slipped in the first half of this quarter with the cost of USD 545/ton CPT Hamburg in the month of February 2022. Despite of the shortage of Natural Gas, the market of Acetic Acid in Germany was affected due to weak demand from the end user consumers and deteriorating demand from the Acetic acid derivative market. However, the supply of Natural Gas was affected in Germany as Russia has not been sending much over its authoritative commitments to Europe in this chilling weather season. Towards the end of the quarter, the price of Acetic Acid in Germany was USD 558/ton CPT Hamburg. In the second half of the quarter, the prices surged due to increasing energy values and rising upstream Natural Gas and crude prices. When compared with previous quarter, the prices of Acetic Acid in Germany slipped by 26.7% from Q4 2021.
For the Quarter Ending December 2021
In North America, the continuous dip in the price trend was observed with weak demand and sufficient supply. However, the prices were on the high side if compared with Q2 and Q3 for the same year. Restrained supply amid fears over the omicron Covid-19 variant has put upward pressure on the prices. The production of US Acetic Acid had slowly started up again, but the available quantities for exports to Europe remain low. This is due to low production rates caused by problems in the procurement of raw materials such as methanol and ongoing repair work. The prices of Acetic Acid in US market observed to be $1450/ton FOB Texas and $1476/ton FOB Louisiana. With the demand seem to be recovering in the domestic market of US, this price trend is observed. Upstream Methanol production in the US Gulf coast operated with good efficiency, as the supply continues to improve with recuperate Acetic acid demand. Major market players operated their Acetic acid plant cautiously according to the demand in the market. Downstream Ethyl acetate, butyl acetate demand was observed to be slow at the onset of new year with demand slowing seasonally.
In Q4, deteriorating demand slowed down the prices of Acetic acid in Asia region. Chinese Acetic Acid showed a cumulative fall during this quarter against waning demand from the downstream sectors and ample inventories. Leading Indian producer Laxmi Organics was heard importing bulk quantity of Acetic Acid from Celanese PTE Ltd. to cater to its acetyl derivatives demand. Fall in the Chinese Acetic Acid prices expected to maintain a downward pressure over the imported as well as domestic offers in the near term. Prices were also affected by the bearish Acetic acid supply in the global region due to weak export activities in India, South Korea, and Belgium. The prices of Acetic acid derivative mainly Ethyl acetate, butyl acetate was also stabilized. In the last week of December, the prices of Acetic acid in China observed to be $970/ton FOB Qingdao and the prices were hovering around $956/ton-$977/ton.
The price of Acetic Acid in Europe surged in October and November and started to slip down in December. Germany prices in October and November observed to be $1805/ton DDP Hamburg and $1845/ton DDP Hamburg. Due to a global supply deficit, Acetic Acid prices have risen to multi-month and multi-year highs across Europe, Manufacturers of rubber and plastic items are also feeling the pinch, since raw materials are in short supply. Long transportation times and limited freight capacity make the situation even more difficult. The supply chain is still in jeopardy, with containers in low supply and freight charges continuing to rise. In December deterred demand and sufficient supply resulted in slipping of price to $1824/ton DDP Hamburg. As the prices of Feedstock Methanol and Coal impacted during this period which affected the price of acetic acid. Downstream derivative namely Ethyl acetate, Butyl acetate was weak supported by the weak consumer demand and consumers started purchasing on need-to basis. As per market players, new orders were limited, and inventory levels was high.
For the Quarter Ending September 2021
Supply of Acetic Acid remained tight in North America after Hurricane Ida disrupted several manufacturing facilities in August. The industrial infrastructure in the US Gulf region remained shut due to severe climate crises which consequently led to the demand-supply imbalance. The demand for Acetic Acid and the downstream products were deemed modest in the domestic as well as overseas market during Q3. Additionally, Acetic Acid Leakage at LyondellBasell’s plant in Texas in July along with the concerns of delta variant spread also stressed the market sentiments. Raw material escalations continued to send ripples to the Acetic Acid prices across the globe. Amidst constant supply shortage, FOB U.S.A. Acetic Acid prices surged to USD 430 per MT in September, showcasing consistent hike since July. Steady consumption from downstream VAM and Acetic Anhydride segments boosted the demand for Acetic Acid and raised their regional offers at that time period.
In the third quarter of 2021, the Asia Pacific market of Acetic Acid witnessed an exponential rise in its prices due to the surge in the feedstock Methanol prices. Additionally, in China, closure of the Ningbo-Zhoushan port for approximately two weeks in August and the congestion on its other ports led to the disruption in the supply chain which consequently affected the availability of Acetic Acid in the region. Besides, shut down of Guangxi and Anhui Huayi’s Acetic Acid plants for around 3-4 weeks for maintenance in July further added to the market tightness. High freight charges due to container shortage in India also contributed to the rise in the pricing trends of the quarter. Acetic Acid prices in September rose to USD 1371.91 per MT, showcasing a rise by USD 211.29 per MT since July. Prices in China showcased mixed sentiments due to the zero-tolerance corona virus policy. Acetic Acid FOB Qingdao monthly average in September stood at USD 1110 per MT, observing a growth of USD 25 per MT from the prices seen in August.
During the third quarter of 2021, supply of Acetic Acid in the European region tightened due to the closure of LyondellBasell’s La Porte plant, which is one of the leading producers of Acetic Acid globally. Being among the critical exporters of Acetic Acid and VAM, the shutdown of LyondellBasell’s plant not only affected the European market but also impacted the global market of Acetic Acid. Moreover, the congestion on the Meishan terminal at Ningbo port, also led to the scarcity of raw material in Europe. Raw material escalations coupled with the high demand of downstream products continued to send ripples to the Acidic Acid prices in the region. DDP -Germany monthly average prices were hiked by USD 110 per MT in the quarter ending.
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Acetic Acid prices in the North American region stabilized in the second quarter after observing a steep increment in the pricing trend starting early 2021. The supplies improved in the USA market as the production efficiency in the US Gulf Coast (USGC) region rebounded, backed with better output of upstream Methanol which supported improved availability of Acetic Acid. Furthermore, better derivative consumption in the US markets was observed. The US export window restored with Mexico and Europe after observing negligible trade in March. Appetite from the downstream VAM market increased with the betterment in supplies. On an average, Ex-works Texas Acetic Acid prices observed increment of USD 20 per tonne from April to June. Acetic Acid prices settled at USD 1180/mt Ex-Works Texas in the final week of June.
In the second quarter of 2021, the regional market of Acetic Acid witnessed a state of supply-demand imbalance as a ripple effect of the sudden turnaround of several production facilities across the region, which further added to the market tightness. At once, South China’s Acetic Acid market was out of stock during the first half of the second quarter which prompted steep surge in the Chinese offers for Acetic Acid. Acetic Acid FOB Qingdao monthly average in June stood at USD 1277 per tonne, observing a growth of USD 200 per tonne from the prices seen in April. Demand from the downstream industries in the Northeast Asian region was healthy as the commercial and industrial activities were at full swing in China. However, in India, demand remained affected due to the second COVID wave which led to partial and complete lockdowns in several states.
As various US facilities restarted their production after the winter storm, the trading window improved which further boosted the availability of Acetic Acid in Europe during the second quarter. A key Acetic Acid producing facility of INEOS remained on a planned force majeure in April however it did not impact the regional supplies. Demand remained upbeat as offtakes were improved from the construction sector. The traditional slowdown in the European market is unlikely to happen this year as the several key players are trying to replenish their inventories. Massive vaccination program has positively impacted the European Acetic Acid market which is expecting improved commercial and industrial activities moving into Q3.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The regional Acetic Acid supplies were tight during the first quarter of 2021 amidst constrained availability of the feedstock as the prices of feedstock Methanol surged. Celanese declare force majeure in the mid-February, due to the extreme weather conditions in Texas, US gulf region and delayed the expansion of its new Acetic Acid plant amid unfavourable market conditions. Amidst persistent tight supply, CFR New York Acetic Acid prices were heard around USD 930 per MT, while FOB Texas settlements were rangebound between 775-780 per MT in mid-Feb. However, the demand remained upbeat due to strong increment in consumption from the downstream VAM as well as for delivering scheduled export orders as major economies around the globe normalised.
The supply of Acetic Acid improved, but remained balanced throughout the quarter, as the several major plants restarted after turnaround in China since late December, but the shutdown due to Chinese Lunar New Year kept the steadiness. Steady consumption from the downstream sectors bolstered the demand of acetic acid in the APAC region. Inclined demand and unavailability of required Acetic acid resulted in surged prices in the Asian market, even the prices in India witnessed a continuous uptrend while maintain an average of USD 982/ton on CFR JNPT basis.
During the first quarter of 2021, the supplies of Acetic Acid were tight in the European region, as imports from the US were constrained due to the plant outages, followed by the strongly rising prices in the region. Although, its surged consumption from the downstream acetate sectors increased the overall demand of Acetic Acid. In northwest Europe, traders seemed desperate to secure more volumes led by strong competition in the local market, which further resulted in increment in the prices of Acetic Acid in the European region.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Asian Acetic Acid sentiments took a driver’s seat in the third quarter due to a strong demand from the downstream sectors as several plants resumed operations and ramped up production after prolonged disruptions in several parts of Southeast Asia. Chinese Acetic Acid operating rates showed substantial improvement in Q3 2020, hovering around 80-82% compared to the level of 60s in the previous quarter. Firming crude oil further lent strong support to the Acetic Acid futures which headed towards recovery backed by greater activity in the Indian market which has reported strong performance from acetyl intermediates and downstream Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM).
The North American Acetic Acid market remained under pressure during the third quarter owing to hurt sentiments in the United States and Canada. Major Acetic Acid producers in the region witnessed substantial decline in the quarterly numbers especially due to weakened acrylic Acetyl Chain segment which slumped by double-digits year over year in the second quarter due to persistent decline in industry pricing resulting from deflationary environment for raw materials.
All key Middle eastern Acetic Acid production sites were running at improved rates as players reported surge in the demand from the downstream VAM producers. Prices took a big leap compared to the last quarter while buyers appeared able to absorb the declared increase. Some price relief could be expected in the upcoming quarter, depending on the feedstock and the buyer’s response towards the year end.