For the Quarter Ending December 2022
Dimethyl Sulphate (DMS) prices have witnessed mixed sentiments in the USA market during the fourth quarter of 2022. During October, prices increased slightly due to high inflation and volatile energy prices. Demand from the downstream agrochemical, dyes and allied industries has been stable in the regional market. Although, during November and December, DMS, both domestically produced and imported materials, have been priced lower. The decline in prices has been attributed to weak demand dynamics from downstream agrochemical, dyes, and allied industries, while material availability has remained strong amid firm imports on the USA shores. Meanwhile, feedstock Sulphuric acid and Methanol prices have dropped, which weighed down the prices of DMS in the regional market.
Prices of Dimethyl Sulphate showed fluctuation in the Asian market during the fourth quarter of 2022. In China, during the first month of Q4, DMS prices raised, backed by the increased demand and inadequate inventory level. In addition, feedstock Methanol and Sulphuric acid prices increased, resulting in the high production cost of DMS in the domestic market. However, during the last two months of Q4, DMS prices decreased, supported by the weak demand dynamics amid soft consumer sentiment caused by the slow performance of the downstream agrochemical, dyes industry, and covid lockdown, while ample product availability, leading to the price drop of DMS in the domestic market.
Prices of Dimethyl Sulphate (DMS) dropped in the European market throughout the fourth quarter of 2022 as downstream demand remained weak while material availability improved throughout the quarter. Dimethyl Sulphate imports from Asia improved in European ports as the freight charges declined sharply while the demand dropped in the Asian market. In addition, energy (Natural gas) prices stabilized in the regional market after the turmoil in Q3, which softened the production cost of DMS. Meanwhile, demand from the downstream dyes, perfumes, and agrochemicals, along with other competitive industries, remained subdued due to sluggish buying sentiment and the slow growth of the key industries.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
In the USA, Dimethyl Sulphate prices constantly increase during the third quarter of the year. The significant price drop has been witnessed due to a fluctuation in the feedstock Methanol and Sulphuric Acid values and stable to weak demand from downstream industries. Since the beginning of the Russia- Ukraine war, the West has been under constant threat of a recession, and the speculations around a US recession intensified in Q3 as the inflation rates soared while consumer sentiment weakened substantially. The constant threat of a recession meant weak consumption rates of dyes, agrochemicals, and other downstream products of Dimethyl Sulphate. Hence, as a result, prices of Dimethyl Sulphate were assessed at USD 3265/MT during September 2022.
Dimethyl Sulphate prices showed a mixed trend in the Indian market during the third quarter of 2022. During July, DMS prices increased by 1.6% due to the improving demand from the downstream agrochemical and dyes industries. However, during August, Dimethyl Sulphate dropped by 2.9% as the weak cost pressure from the feedstock Methanol and Sulphuric acid prices. The downstream market has weakened, and fewer orders were observed from the downstream agrochemical and other industries. The downstream market players were more cautious amid global economic challenges in buying goods and followed a wait-and-see approach. Although, during September prices are slightly rebound during September owing to the high feedstock Methanol and Sulphuric acid prices. In addition, with the onset of the festive season in India, the demand fundamentals are likely to strengthen in the Indian domestic market. Dimethyl Sulphate Ex- Mumbai Prices were assessed at USD 788/MT during September 2022.
Dimethyl Sulphate (DMS) prices have continuously declined in the European region during the third quarter of 2022 as the weak cost pressure from the feedstock Methanol and Sulphuric acid prices. The primary factor for the price decline was the cheap imports from Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, and others. Although, domestic production remained under pressure due to the high production cost as the energy prices drive the operating costs. On the other side, demand from the downstream dyes, agrochemical, and allied industries have sluggish amid the mounting inflation rate in the European market. Furthermore, the supply chain remained under pressure as Europe faced turmoil from the port congestion coupled with a labor strike. Hence, as a result, prices of DMS dropped by around 3-4% during September.
Due to the supply shortage, the prices of Dimethyl Sulphate were reported to be higher in Q2 of 2022. In addition, surging feedstock Natural Gas and coal prices negatively impacted the price trend in the North American region. The prices were boosted by tight supplies and the prospect of rising demand from the downstream derivative market. Furthermore, low inventories among the ports and healthy markets in Southeast Asian and European regions. Prices surged on the higher-level cues from high upstream values, affecting production rates. Supply chain disruption and bullish energy values coincided with high prices and margins. Feedstock Natural Gas prices rose with accelerating Henry Hub prices. Despite of increment in production cost, the average selling prices of the product also increased with strong demand from the downstream pharmaceutical sector.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the prices of Dimethyl Sulphate have witnessed mixed sentiments in the second quarter of 2022. In April, Dimethyl Sulphate prices were hiked by 3.6% in the Indian market. In addition, raw material Methanol and Sulphuric acid prices are escalated due to low imports and rising production cost, which has begun to ease across the domestic market. Furthermore, traders indicated that production in China had been halted amidst war, and pandemic outbreaks induced a severe shortage of raw materials. Overall demand from the end-user pharmaceutical and agrochemical amidst seasonal offtakes has remained strong. However, in May, the prices fell by nearly 3.2% due to rising production rates and quiet demand. Overall, the inventory level in the mid-quarter has been primarily elevated, which has coincided with supply disruption. Although, the prices were rebound in June due to the improved demand from the domestic market.
In Europe, Dimethyl Sulphate showed a positive market sentiment in the second quarter of 2022. In addition, Disruption in supply/demand dynamics also surged the spot prices on the back of rising values in Northeast Asia and Northwest Europe. Also, Dimethyl Sulphate costs in the domestic market are growing with a demanding lift and deficient stockpiles. On the other hand, rising raw materials Methanol and Sulphuric acid have continuously impacted the Dimethyl Sulphate market. Moreover, in June, Germany’s major raw material Methanol producers are planning for the usage of Natural Gas by allowing energy companies to pass on cost increases. Bullish energy and utility costs in Europe forced the producers to increase the prices of Petrochemicals. Contract prices of Dimethyl Sulphate also surged due to elevated demand for pharmaceuticals and agrochemical industries coupled with limited supply in the region.