For the Quarter Ending December 2023
The price of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) in the US market expresses a bullish trend in the fourth quarter of the year.
Behind the bullish market behavior supply and product demand dynamics played a major role as the downstream industry responding fairly towards the products, construction sector was at a rising stage during the entire timeframe driven by the recovering economic condition of the country. Further, n-Butanol, primary feedstock had the key impact on the overall market breakthrough of the DBP.
In November 2023, a global price hike for the several chemicals was observed, which started affecting the price of primary feedstock, despite the demand from the downstream market witnessed the overall moderate trend including the downstream Plasticizer and the elastomers manufacturing companies. This upward trajectory in US prices stems from a confluence of factors, primarily driven by upward feedstock costs. Key raw materials, n-Butanol and Phthalic Anhydride, used in Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) production, have witnessed significant price increases during this timeframe. This directly translates to higher production costs for US manufacturers to offset the margins. This kept global prices on an upward trajectory, with the US market naturally following suit to remain competitive in the face of global competition.
The fourth quarter of 2023 witnessed a tumultuous period for Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) in the APAC region. Supply and demand dynamics were greatly influenced by several key factors. Firstly, the market experienced a surge in raw material costs, particularly for phthalic anhydride and n-butanol, which significantly impacted DBP production costs. Further, the downstream industries, such as plasticizers and construction, witnessed varying levels of demand, leading to fluctuations in overall DBP consumption. Finally, the presence of raw material dumping from countries like China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand further intensified competition among DBP manufacturers in the region. Among the APAC countries, India experienced the most significant changes in DBP prices. The country witnessed a bullish market with moderate supply and high demand. The increased demand from downstream industries, coupled with rising raw material costs, contributed to the upward trend in DBP prices. The quarter ended with a price of USD 1469/MT for DBP Ex-Delhi NCR in India. Overall, the Asian DBP market in Q4 2023 was marked by a complex interplay of supply and demand dynamics, raw material costs, and competition. India emerged as a key player experiencing price fluctuations and strong demand, despite the challenges faced by the industry.
In the fourth quarter of the year, the price trend of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) in the European market witnessed a downward trajectory, driven by the narrow supply and demand gap as well as the overall low production cost of the product. Further, the fourth quarter of the year reported a highly volatile period for the major feedstock of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) i.e. n-butanol and phthalic anhydride. Noticeably, In Germany, n-Butanol got a price surge of around 2% in November 2023 resulting to maintain high production cost the Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) hitting the spending sentiments in the domestic market of downstream household products. Adding to the complexity, dwindling demand from the downstream construction sector had a high impact. The Germany construction sector was stumbling during the defined timeframe, as higher interest rates drive up mortgage costs, house prices increased significantly in Germany and in most other European countries. On the other hand, In the third quarter, many chemical companies in Europe had started maintenance shutdown or production cut because of ongoing soft market in key economies like Germany, Belgium, UK and other parts of the Europe. Weak demand of the chemicals derived companies to close manufacturing plants across the Europe. Going forward, the chemical sector is expected to get a boost from the first quarter of 2024 as freezing cold overs and public outlay interest rates starts.
For the Quarter Ending September 2023
Compared with the second quarter, the Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) market in the USA performed lower than expected in the third quarter. The prices witnessed immense fluctuations with the trend seeing inclination during July under the influence of improved downstream construction demand within the region, while further deterioration in the following month. As per the data, quoted by Fred, the Producer Price Index by the Cement Industry witnessed a rise from 233.89 in June to 234.7 in July depicting development in the construction segment which was directly linked to the DBP production. However, the DBP market experienced a declining trend despite the increase in construction activities. The prices of DBP which is used in the downstream construction material fell in August, as firms reduced their purchasing activity due to sufficient stock availability. Furthermore, the cost savings from the manufacturing unit were exerting downward pressure on DBP prices in the US market, as producers sought to remain competitive in the face of weakened demand during September.
During the third quarter, the Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) market in India saw significant price fluctuations, with prices falling in the first half of the quarter and rallying in the second half amid the cost support from feedstock Propylene. During July, the continuous decline was faced by the Indian plasticizers industry amid the monsoon season which muted the trading activities within this timeframe. Despite, the inflation rate in India surging by 181 in June to 186.3 in July, the availability of DBP was sufficient to meet the subdued demand for the product. However, the prices rebounded in August and September as the increase in the price of phthalic anhydride (PA) along with n-butanol, a crucial feedstock to produce DBP contributed to the overall cost of DBP production, subsequently affecting its market price. Meanwhile, DBP producers were operating their equipment at low capacity, and this has led to a shortage of DBP supply and low factory inventories. As a ripple effect, these disruptions, and fluctuations in feedstock prices, played a role in this price hike.
The German Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) market in the third quarter of 2023 saw mixed price movements, with prices increasing in the first half and declining in the second half. During July, DBP manufacturers have low inventories, as they have reduced their production units to meet the recovering demand. In the context of the European economy, the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) displayed a modest improvement, rising from 42.7 in the previous month of July to 43.7. Following that, the European DBP market holds immense stability on the rollover demand from the previous month. As per the traders, domestic consumption has not reformed on the back of unchanged demand from the downstream plasticizer industry. Hence, several domestic suppliers have kept the firm prices to remain relevant in the market activity. The price of DBP decreased during September as Europe's consumers lost confidence in making purchases due to the waning economy. The trend of falling DBP prices in Germany was aided by the continually decreasing downstream construction activity during this timeframe.
For the Quarter Ending June 2023
During the second quarter, overall, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) market in the US rose compared with the first quarter, although a wide range of fluctuations were observed. The DBP market continued to chase the increasing trend during April, followed by the previous quarter. As per the reports, OQ Chemicals had announced the increased production rate by +0.12 USD/lb North America for feedstock n-butanol effective from April, leading the overall US DOP market to grow. As per the data, Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Industrial Production Total Index for the US rose from 301.8 (March) to 302.9 (April) and 102.6 (March) to 103.1 (April), respectively, which states inflation was under control along with improved economic activities. However, the demand for DBP reflected positive buying sentiments during May amidst tight supply for the product overseas, which led the prices to fluctuate. Moreover, the downstream Elastomers sector in the paints and coating industry-backed construction sector for DBP has increased from 231.7 (April) to 233.4 (May) due to the increase in the housing sector, which influenced the DOP prices to grow.
During the second quarter, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) market in Asia was weaker compared with the first quarter. Prices remained constant till May, followed by the first quarter. The stable demand-supply gap drove the market activities to remain constant. As per the market sources, the demand for domestic downstream automotive and construction industry overpowers the rolling stress of recession. Indian Rupee has been strengthening by 0.32% against USD between 11th April to 1st May. Supply has been ample enough to cater to the requirements for the product, influencing the prices to hover around 1607.4 USD/ tonne DBP Ex-Mumbai during May. Within the Indian market, over the start of the monsoon season, the demand from the downstream automotive and construction industry got hampered during June. Many receivers built sufficient inventories in advance to meet the current requirement. In order to sustain in the market, suppliers have lowered the prices hoping for an increase in trading activity. Plentiful availability of products before monsoon continued to put downward pressure on spot prices along with the downtrend in feedstock n-butanol prices.
The average pricing trend of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) during the second quarter in the European market remained weak compared with the first quarter. However, marginal increases in feedstock n-butanol along with phthalic anhydride prices were observed during April 2023 amid subsided destocking in the European market. The overall construction sector in Europe shows a substantial decline from 114.1 (April) to 113.7 (May), as per the Eurostat data. Demand from the downstream packaging sector of the regional market affected the overall demand for DBP production. Moreover, distributors have remained under pressure to release their large surplus as the trading activity remained muted throughout the quarter in Europe. As per the recent assessment, Producer price in Industry for Europe declined from 136.9 (March) to 135.1 (May), reflecting the sluggish economic condition. To remain relevant in the market, traders decreased their posted prices which further led to the downturn of DOP prices. According to the data, interestingly, an 18% increase in new car registration was observed in May. However, its impact on DBP prices remained untouched amid overpowering sluggish economic growth.
For the Quarter Ending March 2023
The market trend for Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) during the first quarter of 2023 appeared that input price inflation rose due to higher raw material costs and shipping cost pressures. The high demand from the downstream plasticizer industry as well as reducing inventories in the region, was also affecting the domestic DBP industry's profit and volume growth. At the same time, the rising labor shortage in the US market during the second half of Q1 was also likely contributing to the increase in production costs, which was further driving up the price of DBP. Overall, it seems that the market for DBP has been on an upward trend throughout the first quarter of 2023 due to various factors, including high demand, input price inflation, reduced inventories, and labor shortages.
The market trend for Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) during Q1 of 2023 noted that there was an initial surge in demand for DBP after the Chinese Festival, leading to a subsequent increase in market sentiment amidst limited inventories. However, the decline in orders from downstream PVC industries in the second half of Q1 stabilized the market and reduced the burden on manufacturing units. However, the supply of feedstock phthalic anhydride remained consistent, which helped ease the price trend of DBP during the second half of Q1. It was also noteworthy that players in the market were stressed due to mounting inventories and were compelled to allow consistent negotiations to initiate offtakes. Overall, it seems that the market for DBP experienced some fluctuations during Q1 of 2023 but ultimately stabilized in the second half of the quarter.
The European market for Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) showed an upward trend throughout the first quarter of 2023, which was likely due to the active procurement from downstream plasticizer sectors, leading to improved market sentiment. The stocks of finished goods were at the optimum level to meet demand from downstream industries, and there were no observed supply-chain constraints during the given timeframe. This suggests that the market was functioning efficiently, and there were no major disruptions to the supply chain. Overall, it seemed that the availability of upstream phthalic anhydride and n-butanol was adequate, and the market participants were also optimistic about purchasing the material in bulk quantity. As a result, the DBP market experienced an increment in its price trend throughout the quarter.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the price of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) in North America showed changing market sentiment. The pricing trend for DBP varied as a result of fluctuating feedstock costs for phthalic acid as well as shifting demand from downstream producers of plasticizers. However, a range of other factors, such as shifting consumer attitudes, inflationary pressure, and fluctuating currency values, all had an impact on the market dynamics of DBP in the US market. Additionally, the large amount of inventory that was present in the second half of the quarter and the lower number of orders kept prices in the local markets low. Therefore, as the quarter came to a close, local prices remained low even as consumer activity increased.
The price trend of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) was seen as stagnant in the domestic Chinese market. Decreased upstream values in the domestic market affected the values negatively, and the overall trade and export prices of DBP declined in China. The offtakes remained consistent due to the continuous demand for phthalate materials from the end-user plasticizer industry amid the stable consumer demand sentiments in the construction and automotive sector. So, the domestic producers reduced the product prices in the country as the demand was modest from the domestic plasticizer PVC producers. Also, the previous stock of DBP was available at low costs in the market, and product offtakes were average.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) Prices varied in Europe during the fourth quarter of 2022, following the pattern of the Asian market. However, due to a consistent supply and an abundance of material, manufacturers were able to deliver the goods on time. Price inflation for both input and product fell as a result of relieving supply constraints and declining demand. Later, in the second half, the price increased slightly as a result of rising production costs and rising energy costs. The need for DBP in the European market was being driven by end-use demands from downstream plasticizers. As a result, there were fluctuations in the price of DBP in the Eurozone throughout the fourth quarter.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
In Q3 2022, the DBP market of the USA ended on a mixed note. Due to unprecedented energy and utility costs, prices faced a Northward trend in the first half while slowed in the second half with adequate product availability. In July, with consistent demand for DBP in the paint and plasticizer-producing industries, the product price rose marginally for the construction and automotive sectors. However, the slower trading activity came from mid-August as market participants traded with weaker spot prices and sufficient product inventories. DBP prices showcased a bearish trend as traders sought further discounts to the overseas suppliers amid weak market fundamentals and lower bidding for the new stocks.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) prices showed mixed sentiments in the APAC region in the Q3 of 2022. In India, the reduced costs of raw materials Phthalic anhydride and Iso-Butanol negatively impacted DBP's production costs in the first half of Quarter 3 of 2022. In addition, the domestic producers reduced the product prices in the country as the demand was modest from the domestic plasticizer PVC manufacturers. September pricing dynamics for the commodity saw a rise with an increase in the new offers from the downstream industries and limited availability amidst the country's upcoming festive season. Therefore, the price of DBP was settled at INR 139780/ton Ex-Mumbai (India) during September 2022.
The third quarter of 2022 had a mixed performance from the European DBP market, which saw an increase in the first part of the quarter. Later, as the energy crisis expanded throughout the market, consumer sentiment for the demand for dyes and plasticizers declined. Since the second half of August, the bearish trend has continued. Customers have been reluctant to make significant purchases because of the European market's rising gas and electricity prices. Additionally, DBP producers reduced their offers to sell off the existing stocks since the peak season for their end-use industries was about to end its use amidst the ban, which resulted in a decrease in price during September.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
Dibutyl Phthalate price trend remained firm and inclined upward throughout quarter 2 in North America. At the beginning of the quarter, the Dibutyl Phthalate price skyrocketed due to a sudden spike in feed Isobutanol price in the region. After that, the price trend stabilized, and DBP prices rose marginally till the end of the quarter due to firm feed prices as volatility in oil and gas post inflation impacted the petrochemical prices throughout the quarter. As the USA is the hub of the major producer of EV auto vehicles globally, the demand for plasticizers remained firm and consistent in the automotive sector during Q2 of 2022.
The price trend of DBP remained uncertain and shifted consistently throughout Q2 in the Asian region. In China, prices declined in Q2 due to the sufficient availability of product stocks with contracted demand during the lockdown. On the other hand, DBP prices fluctuated in India due to the variation in petrochemical and feedstock Iso Butanol prices due to increased crude oil imports from Russia. In the other Asian countries, prices propelled in the first half of the quarter due to a significant surge in petrochemical prices, and then product costs rose marginally till the end of the quarter. With steady offtakes, the demand for phthalate plasticizers remained consistent in the end-user construction and automotive sector.
The price trend of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) remained strong in the European region with some minor fluctuations. With a sudden spike in feed Isobutanol cost caused by shortages in oil supplies, DBP prices rose substantially during H1 of the quarter. However, in the mid-quarter, product costs stabilized due to decreased feed prices and reduced demand sentiments for plasticizers from the end-user construction sector in the region. Towards the end of Q2, the demand for DBP remained modest, and prices rose marginally due to the increase in the region’s energy and gas costs, and the price movement inclined slightly upward in June 2022.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
North America saw an increase in the price of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) in the first quarter of 2022 due to buoyant domestic demand and high crude oil value pushing up the prices of upstream raw materials n-octanol and phthalic anhydride due to ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. The price of Dibutyl Phthalate was observed around USD 1675/ton FOB New York in USA during January 2022. Global inflationary pressure and overall firmness for Dibutyl Phthalate in the market led to increased prices in North America. Downstream sector of plasticisers, adhesives, sealant chemicals saw an increasing demand for Dibutyl Phthalate and escalated freight charges augmented the costs of the product.
In Asia, the price of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) increased in Q1, 2022 owing to the steep rise in prices of upstream crude coupled with improved demand from the downstream market where the prices started at USD 1657/ton EX-Delhi NCR in the month of January and hovered around USD 1773/ton-1927/ton Ex-Delhi NCR in India in the month of March. The Indian market has been witnessing optimism for overall market dynamics, as the pandemic has declined to daily lower than three digits in numbers for new cases in the country. However, seasonal offtakes have also bolstered this steep rise in the prices of phthalates in the regional market. Nevertheless, post-release of strategic reserves by the USA and stringent covid restrictions in China have provided the overall calm to fuming crude oil value.
During Q1,2022 the prices of Dibutyl Phthalate saw an upward trajectory in Europe with decreasing inventories and insufficient supply of the raw materials and price ranging around USD 1820/ton FD Hamburg in Europe. Increasing usage of Oxo alcohols in the downstream sector as well changing freight charges due to global shortage of shipping containers are contributing to rising prices. The market growth is primarily attributed to the strong market sentiments, increasing demand for n-octanol in the formulation of paint and stain removals and of plasticizers contributing to the European economy. Russia-Ukraine war has affected the prices of crude all over the globe which is indirectly impacting the price of Oxo alcohols.