For the Quarter Ending March 2023
The North American market faced challenges during Q1 2023, primarily due to prolonged stagnancy in market activities and rising inflation. Throughout the quarter, the Alkyl Ether Sulfate (AES) market experienced fluctuations, and regular price revisions were observed due to changing market supplies amidst slowly improving demand with the arrival of the summer season. As per the data, the downstream personal care products market showed overall stable demand for the product, and traders were optimistic about future demand for the product as summer approached. However, during the month of March, the collapse of two major banks in the USA also contributed to dullness in market activities.
Asian market remained lackluster in demand for Alkyl Ether Sulfates during the first quarter of 2023, where multiple price revisions were observed. As per the data, the price of Alkyl Ether Sulphate (AES) in India fell during the final month of the quarter by 1.7%, despite the expected seasonal demand upswing. The Asian market was bearish, with a moderate supply of the product and low demand in the regional market. The availability of ample products and cheaper imports have contributed to the price trend. The banking crisis in the USA also impacted global economic activities, further lowering demand for AES. As a result, the prices of AES in Asia continued to follow a downward trend during the second half of the quarter, with no significant changes in relevant factors impacting the final prices.
The European market has been competing with high inflation and sluggish economic activities, which have been causing major economies such as the UK to edge closer to a recession. During the quarter, the demand for AES was low to moderate, and multiple price revisions was noted due to factors such as imports and falling freight charges at major trade routes. However, the ongoing winter season played a crucial role in low demand from the domestic personal care products market, which later instilled an optimistic outlook in the market towards the end of the quarter. Further, the demand fundamentals for the product started improving by the end of the quarter, as traders started procuring for arriving summer season in the region.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The fourth quarter of 2022 had a strong start for the North American Alkyl Ether Sulfates market; its value increased significantly at the beginning of the quarter, only to decline as the quarter's end drew near. The market value of Alkyl Ether Sulfates fluctuated in response to changes in downstream demand from different industries. Due to the unsteady market scenarios for the downstream detergent industry during the quarter, the demand for Alkyl Ether Sulfates in the domestic market fluctuated. Furthermore, variable production costs and varying upstream expenses had an impact on the growth of the Alkyl Ether Sulfates market throughout the quarter, which also affected its prices in the region.
Amidst weak downstream demand and lower upstream costs, the price of Alkyl Ether Sulfates in the Asia-Pacific Region steadily decreased during the fourth quarter of 2022. As the downstream detergent industry underperformed in terms of industrial output and market performance throughout the quarter, the demand for Alkyl Ether Sulfates declined, resulting in dropped Alkyl Ether Sulphate prices. Additionally, the cost of producing Alkyl Ether Sulphate decreased as energy costs fell throughout the time under consideration, which eventually decreased the market value of the product. Moreover, as the destocking of existing inventories occurred in December, manufacturers were more focused on clearing off their shelves even at a lesser value, which further supported the price fall of Alkyl Ether Sulfates.
The European Alkyl Ether Sulphate market had a great start to the fourth quarter of 2022; its value rose significantly at the start of the quarter before falling as the end of the quarter got closer. Alkyl Ether Sulfates' market value changed in reaction to variations in downstream demand from various sectors. The demand for Alkyl Ether Sulfates in the domestic market fluctuated during the quarter because of the shaky market conditions for the downstream detergent industry. The expansion of the Alkyl Ether Sulphate market throughout the quarter was also impacted by variable manufacturing costs and fluctuating upstream expenses, which had an impact on the market's overall pricing.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
Alkyl Ether Sulfates prices in North America increased throughout the third quarter of 2022 because of higher feedstock prices which were exacerbated by supply problems. The market value of palm oil as a raw material rose during the quarter, driving upstream costs for the manufacturing of Alkyl Ether Sulphates and resulting in a hike in its price. The increasing demand from the downstream detergent and surfactant industries has also increased the price of Alkyl Ether Sulphates. Furthermore, rising energy prices, port congestions, vessel bunching, and yard occupancy disrupted the supply chain, which eventually caused the limited availability of the material in the country.
During the third quarter of 2022, Alkyl Ether Sulfates' price value in the Asia-Pacific region revealed mixed sentiments, supported by shifting feedstock prices. Alkyl Ether Sulfates (AES) pricing pattern, which was increasing in July, abruptly decreased in August and regained momentum in September. AES's value in the domestic market fluctuated due to the market value of the feedstock palm oil, which caused the upstream cost to remain unstable throughout the quarter. Additionally, the downstream demand from the detergent and surfactant sectors, which had been climbing in July and September, abruptly fell in August, which caused the market sentiments of Alkyl Ether Sulfates to move in the same direction.
The third quarter of 2022 saw an increase in the price of Alkyl Ether Sulfates in the European market due to rising feedstock costs. The market value of palm oil as a raw material increased throughout the quarter due to supply issues, which increased upstream expenses to produce alkyl ether sulfates and raised its price. Alkyl Ether Sulphates are now more expensive due to the rising demand from the detergent and surfactant industries upstream. Additionally, the supply chain was affected by rising energy prices, port backlogs, vessel bunching, and yard occupation, ultimately leading to the country's limited supply of materials.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
During the second quarter of 2022, the price of Alkyl Ether Sulfates in North America continued to rise because of the rising feedstock value. Due to supply issues, the market value of Palm Oil as a raw material increased throughout the quarter, which propelled the upstream cost involved in Alkyl Ether Sulfates production, hence causing the surge in its price. The price of Alkyl Ether Sulfates has also increased due to the high demand from downstream detergent and surfactant industries. The price of Alkyl Ether Sulfates was further driven up by rising energy costs, increased freight costs, and clogged ports due to tensions surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war.
The price value of Alkyl Ether Sulfates showcased mixed sentiments in the Asia-pacific region during the second quarter of 2022, backed by fluctuating feedstock prices. The pricing trend of Alkyl Ether Sulfates (AES), which was incrementing in April, suddenly dropped in May and continued its downward motion till June. As feedstock palm oil's market value fluctuated throughout the quarter, it kept the upstream cost unstable, causing AES's flickered value in the domestic market. Furthermore, the downstream demand from detergent and surfactant industries which were rising till April suddenly started plunging in May and June, causing Alkyl Ether Sulfates market sentiments to proceed accordingly.
During the second quarter of 2022, prices for Alkyl Ether Sulfates decreased steadily in Europe in contrast to North America. Weak demand from end-user industries such as detergent and surfactant was the leading cause of this decline. The market value of Alkyl Ether Sulfates also declined because of sluggish consumer spending. Additionally, the stores were overflowing with excess stock, and the supply rate remained steady, which made the costs of Alkyl Ether Sulfates in the European market even more absurd. Altogether, weak offtake and consistent supply flow were the main reasons behind the plummeting price value of Alkyl Ether Sulfates (AES) in the domestic market.
Rising on high raw material cost and inflationary pressure, AES prices remained high throughout the quarter across US market during this period. Demand fundamentals for the product form the downstream surfactant segment remained stable despite pandemic related uncertainties strike global market. In addition, raw material price remained a matter of concern for most of the regional players, as imported cargoes were either getting cancelled or delayed due to container unavailability at Asia-US trade route. However, price remained buoyant and heard hovering around USD 1520/MT during December in USA.
Asian market kept on oscillating on the back of raw material scarcity amid logistics related issues. The price of AES effectively rose in Indian market during this timeframe, due to limited raw material availability and firm demand from the local market. Due to scarcity of raw material palm kernel oil, AES prices kept on rising during October and November, as demand for palm oil were high from other segments. Major surfactant and detergent manufacturers were compelled to raise their product costs, while logistical issues have exacerbated the overall dynamics. AES price hovered around USD 2071/MT during October in India. Meanwhile Chinese market faced other issues like rise in coal prices during monsoon season, and later implementation of dual energy policy in the country. Thus, AES also remained buoyant in Chinese market during this timeframe.
Surfactant sector maintained overall firmness stability during this timeframe too, as the domestic market was healing from prolonged pandemic related uncertainties. Furthermore, enormous surge in natural gas price increased the overall production cost for several commodities in the regional market. Meanwhile, low imports of raw material from Asia remained a matter of consideration, as it was leading to consistent hike in its prices. Furthermore, high freight cost and congestion across Asian market exacerbated the overall pricing dynamics of AES in the European market.