For the Quarter Ending December 2023
The fourth quarter of 2023 was challenging for the Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) market in the North America region. First, the market experienced a decline in demand due to persistent inflation and historically high interest rates, which diminished consumer confidence and purchasing power. Second, the availability of Benzalkonium Chloride was moderate to high, supported by cheaper imports and sufficient market inventories. However, the limited supply persisted due to a decline in imports from key export markets. Lastly, the market sentiment was unstable, with a bearish trend observed, driven by concerns about the economic outlook and the impact of rising inflation on consumer prices.
In terms of the United States, the largest market in the region, the prices of Benzalkonium Chloride saw a slight increase in October and November, followed by a decline in December. This price fluctuation was influenced by factors such as consumer spending, interest rates, and overall market dynamics. The prices were also affected by the availability of supply, with the market experiencing a low to moderate supply during this period.
However, it is important to note that the colder months typically see a rise in seasonal illnesses, which could contribute to an increase in demand for disinfectants containing BAC. Overall, the latest price of Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) 80% CFR Houston in the USA for the current quarter is USD 1880/MT.
The fourth quarter of 2023 in the APAC region was characterized by various factors that influenced the pricing of Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC). Firstly, the market experienced stable conditions, with demand remaining high in sectors such as healthcare, food processing, and household cleaning. However, supply levels were affected by reduced imports, leading to a low to medium supply situation. The overall market sentiment was positive, but there were concerns about a potential economic slowdown and weakened consumer spending power. In South Korea, which experienced the most significant price changes, there was an upward trend in BAC prices in October and November due to consistent demand and restricted inventory levels. However, prices declined in December, primarily influenced by lower demand from domestic and overseas markets, as well as adequate supply in the domestic market. The consumer sentiment in South Korea remained subdued, with concerns about an economic slowdown and inflationary pressures impacting purchasing power. In terms of price percentages, there was a -6% change in prices from the previous quarter, indicating a decrease in BAC prices. Additionally, there was a -1% price percentage comparison between the first and second half of the quarter in South Korea. Overall, the pricing of Benzalkonium Chloride in the APAC region during the fourth quarter of 2023 was influenced by factors such as demand, supply, consumer sentiment, and economic conditions. The quarter ending price of Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) 80% CFR Busan in South Korea was USD 1755/MT.
In the concluding quarter of 2023, the European Benzalkonium Chloride market witnessed fluctuating pricing dynamics influenced by various factors. October and November saw an uptick in Benzalkonium Chloride prices, driven by increased demand from the food and healthcare sectors, higher consumer spending, and reduced market inventories. A positive shift in business sentiment in Germany, alleviating factors hindering economic growth, contributed to this price surge. However, as December unfolded, Benzalkonium Chloride prices experienced a downturn attributed to consumer apprehension and reduced purchasing power due to a resurgence of inflationary pressure. This led to a surplus of supply, exerting downward pressure on prices. Furthermore, declining business sentiments in Europe, especially in Germany, contributed to an overall reduction in Benzalkonium Chloride demand. The persistent decline in new orders and factory productivity added to the weakness in demand. Lastly, the European Central Bank's efforts to curb inflation through interest rate hikes impacted the market, with higher interest rates acting as a deterrent to demand. The combined effect of these factors highlighted the dynamic nature of the European Benzalkonium Chloride market in the final quarter of 2023.
For the Quarter Ending September 2023
Prices for Benzalkonium Chloride in the United States were inconsistent in the third quarter. Prices grew by 2.94% and 1.90% in July and August, respectively, as a result of inventory replenishment, increasing demand from end-user sectors, and lower imports from major exporting countries such as China. Consumer prices rose by 3.2 percent in July, raising firm expenses and adding to the price increase. In August, gasoline and fuel oil prices climbed by 9.1% and 10.6%, respectively, resulting in increased company expenses and transportation costs. Additionally, growing warehousing costs, a lack of storage space, and inventory replenishment all contributed to this upward trend. Prices declined 12.38 percent in September as a result of rising gasoline prices and high interest rates, which contributed to increased economic uncertainty and undermined consumer confidence. Manufacturers reported yet another reduction in new orders, with the fastest rate of contraction contributing to the downward trend. As a result, businesses have been obliged to liquidate their stock and inventory in order to remain profitable.
Benzalkonium Chloride prices in the Chinese market showed a mixed trend in the third quarter. Prices rose by 3.87% and 2.66% in July and August, respectively, before falling by 13.47 percent in September. Prices first rose due to rising demand from both home and global markets, as well as a market scarcity. The manufacturing sector remained in recession in July, but it improved somewhat compared to the previous scenario, showing that industrial production efficiency grew modestly as market demand increased. Rising demand from both domestic and international markets pushed enterprises to raise their selling prices, contributing to the upward trend. Prices increased further in August due to a considerable increase in new orders and export sales over the previous month, resulting in an increase in overall cost. In September, the Chinese manufacturing sector returned to the expansion zone, and business activity rose at a quicker rate. Despite increasing supply, poor international demand weighed on the outlook, keeping the Benzalkonium Chloride market on the lower side.
The prices of Benzalkonium Chloride in Germany showcased a diverse trajectory during the third quarter. Prices rose in July and August before falling in September. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) assessed inflation at 6.2 percent in July, up from 6.4 percent in June. According to the score, inflation slowed in July, boosting consumer confidence. Costs increased further in August as a result of growing inflation, which was driven by rises in energy and oil prices, raising firms' expenses and operational costs while maintaining the market stable. However, Germany's industrial sector, which accounts for around one-fifth of the nation's economy, remained in a depression in September due to weak demand and quickly declining output, causing Benzalkonium Chloride prices to plummet. In September, the European Central Bank agreed to boost interest rates for the eleventh time in a row to combat persistent inflation, which has kept market demand low and the downward trend going. The warehouses had adequate inventory which compelled market providers to lower Benzalkonium Chloride prices even further to clear out their inventories.
For the Quarter Ending June 2023
In the United States, the prices of Benzalkonium Chloride decreased by 5.99% in June compared to the level noticed in April, suggesting prices remained on the weaker side throughout the second quarter. The factors include increased supply and weaker demand in domestic as well as in foreign markets. The PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) also dropped to 46.3 in June compared to the beginning of the second quarter, explaining decreased purchasing activity from end consumers. Since there is less demand in the market, market participants have reduced the price of Benzalkonium Chloride to free up their existing inventory. The cost of energy, which is a major input cost for production, has fallen in recent months due to the slowdown in the global economy coupled with lower oil prices, which further supports Benzalkonium Chloride's downward trajectory. Additionally, high-interest rates have reduced demand for Benzalkonium Chloride in the US market, driving prices down. Additionally, the US dollar appreciated against the Chinese yuan in June, making US imports cheaper and increasing the availability of Benzalkonium Chloride, resulting in lower Benzalkonium Chloride prices.
Benzalkonium Chloride prices in China showed a mixed pattern in the second quarter. A decrease of 3.76 percent is noticed in the prices of Benzalkonium Chloride in May, contrasted with the levels seen in April because of adequate supply in the market amid poor demand. China's PMI (Purchasing managers' Index) stood at 48.8 in May from 49.2 in April. This indicates a contraction in the manufacturing activity as the production activity decreased due to a decline in new orders, purchases, and export sales, causing the prices to drop. On the other hand, the prices of Benzalkonium Chloride increased in June by 1.12 percent from May because of a surge in demand from end users in the cosmetic, healthcare, and pharmaceutical industries accompanied by fewer inventories among market participants. China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) settled at 49.0 in June, indicating a contraction in manufacturing activity. The Benzalkonium Chloride market price has increased due to the fact that some manufacturers have decreased production to increase the prices.
In Germany, Benzalkonium Chloride market conditions were mixed in Q2. Benzalkonium Chloride prices decreased in May as compared to April and then increased again in June. The decrease in Benzalkonium Chloride prices in May was due to an oversupply of Benzalkonium Chloride among merchants and suppliers, as well as a decrease in end-user industries' demand. The German Manufacturing PMI (PMI) for June 2023 decreased to 43.2 from April's 44.5, indicating a decrease in buying activity as well as inquiries for new orders. The German economy was affected by rising inflation and the European Central Bank's interest rate hike in June, resulting in higher food and energy costs. This subsequently increased the cost of business activity dependent on Benzalkonium Chloride. The Manufacturing PMI for June 2023 in Germany decreased to 41.0 compared to the levels observed at the beginning of the second quarter, indicating a lower level of inventories in the market to meet the demand, thus pushing the prices upwards. Market participants' focus on restocking inventories which kept the market situation on the north side.