Quarterly Update on Global Butyl Acetate Market
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
During the second quarter of 2021, Butyl Acetate supplies were hindered as spot buyers faced volume allocations and extended lead times of upstream Acetic Acid and Butanol which altered the operational rates and affected the overall production of Butyl Acetate. The upward price trend was further supported by robust demand, as the enquiries from paints & coatings and adhesives industries surged to meet the traditional seasonal requirement from the construction and automotive sectors. However, the supplies gradually improved by the quarter ending, consequently taking the FOB Texas prices to USD 1790 per tonne in June, showing an improvement of USD 211 per tonne from the prices seen in March.
During Q2 2021, spot buyers in China were reluctant to procure the high-cost Butyl Acetate. The prices of raw materials Acetic Acid and Butanol maintained an uptrend due to reduced operating rates of several plants located in Southeast Asia and China, further supported the price trend of Butyl Acetate. Ex-Works Zhengzhou Butyl Acetate prices settled at USD 2141 per tonne in June, up by the USD 350 per tonne in the April 2021. Offtakes were majorly on spot demandas the enquiries were lesser in South Asian market as the second COVID wave wreaked havoc in several countries.
Butyl Acetate supplies in the European region were tight-to-balanced during the second quarter as BASF ended its force majeure on one of its facilities along with ease in the availability of the upstream butanol. Some supply hinderance was witnessed due to limited availability of the feedstock Acetic Acid as the key players were more focused on replenishing their inventories. Demand from the downstream sectors surged as offtakes were improved from the automotive sector for paints and coatings applications.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Butyl Acetate supplies in the region remained tight, due to the limited availability of upstream products and key feedstock n-butanol, followed by unplanned plant outages as the US Gulf region which faced an unprecedented extreme weather condition in mid-February. As the offtakes of Butyl Acetate surged from the automotive, paints and coatings sector, the demand took an upward push. Several producers reported limited feedstock availability as the key factor restraining the market movement. Translating the raw material price increases, OQ chemicals surged the prices of n-Butyl Acetate by USD 110 USD/MT in February for the March delivery, its 120 KTPA Butyl Acetate site in Texas was shut for nearly two weeks in Feb.
The supplies of Butyl Acetate were short in Q1 2021, due to the limited availability of the feedstock n-Butanol, followed by the plant shutdowns amid the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays and decline in overseas supplies. However, the demand remained healthy as buyers sought for restocking activity post holidays and improved consumption from the recovering downstream automotive, and paints & coatings sector. Many Indian suppliers ran out of stock stating that they are ordering the material only on need-to basis as the supply has been constrained due to limited imports. Higher shipping containers moving across Asia have affected the import volumes in addition to increasing their cost.
Butyl Acetate supplies to the European region remained tight during the first quarter of 2021, as the regional producer BASF declared force majeure at its production facility. The tightness was further instigated by reduced imports from the US. Strong offtakes from the downstream automotive market contributed to strong consumption which surged the demand of Butyl Acetate in the European region.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
A combination of factors pushed up the Butyl Acetate pricing curve during the second half of Q4 2020. The Asian Butyl Acetate (butac) markets witnessed extended delays in the import supply during the quarter with producers complaining about low inventory levels amidst bolstered market sentiments. Players reported shortage of the feedstock n-butanol, triggering an undue rise in the domestic offers. Supply constraints impacted the overall market sentiments while several butac plants were running below their full capacities. Malaysia’s PETRONAS Chemicals was heard operating its 50,000 tpy in Kerteh, Trengganu at nearly 90% of its installed capacity. Butyl Acetate CFR southeast Asia prices were averaged around USD 1110 per tonne in October, showing a rise of about USD 25 per tonne on month-on-month basis.
Butyl Acetate demand in the America’s remained well-supported throughout Q4 2020 with the outlook turning favorable towards the end of the quarter due to pent-up demand from the downstream architectural coatings and packaging inks sector. Strong gains in feedstock Acetic Acid and n-butanol (NBA) values were transferred to end-customers, thereby fueling market discussions throughout the quarter. Regional traders ended up reporting restocking activity for the early-2021 with rising optimism post the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines. Demand continued to rise as the consumer spending over the do-it-yourself (DIY) paint and coatings sector remained strong. Imported volumes remained affected due to prolonged port congestion, causing delayed delivery times in the US ports.
Butyl Acetate supply across the Europe remained tight throughout the fourth quarter after the major producer BASF declared force majeure at one of its upstream n-Butanol (NBA) facilities due to unspecified technical problems at its production unit in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Strong pull from the downstream markets and tight production levels spurred the regional offers during Q4, which are anticipated to extend further gains even in the upcoming quarter. Demand outlook seemed buoyant for a larger part of Q4 as offtakes improved in tandem with raised sentiments across the automotive sector compared to the levels observed in Q2 and Q3. Price of Butac was assessed around USD 1400-1600 per tonne in the northwest Europe, showing a marked uptrend compared to levels seen in Q3.