For the Quarter Ending June 2021
During the second quarter of 2021, the North American Ethyl Acetate market seemed tight amidst limited availability of the upstream Ethanol and Acetic Acid. Raw material availability was the key issue as Ethanol supplies were majorly diverted towards high prioritized commodities such as hand sanitizers while some turnarounds were reported in the Acetic Acid production facilities. However, demand from the pharma industries remained high, keeping the offtakes of Ethyl Acetate largely uplifted. Pricing trend observed a marginal fall during the start of the quarter but later improved. FOB Texas Ethyl Acetate price in June was assessed at USD 1030 per tonne.
The Asian Ethyl Acetate market observed mixed sentiments due to imbalance in the supply and demand of the upstream Acetic Acid because of plant turnarounds at several facilities across the Asia Pacific region. However, the overall supply scenario improved compared to the previous quarter with some tightness observed during the Labour Day holidays in China and global inflationary trend in the upstream crude oil. Prices in India observed an ease initially during the quarter followed by continuous uptrend, taking Ex-Works Mumbai (India) prices in June to USD 1659 per tonne, up by about USD 135 per tonne from the prices seen in late March. Demand from the downstream paints and coatings industries surged in China as the ease in COVID restrictions and improved construction activities supported the enquiries from spot buyers.
During Q2 2021, the European Ethyl Acetate suppliers reported gradual replenishment in the market supplies. However, some production-related constraints were witnessed due to the curtailed Acetic Acid availability as a major producer was on a turnaround since the last quarter. Market sentiments were raised after backward integration plans of major European producers INEOS and Celanese were revealed. Furthermore, demand was bolstered exponentially due to better material offtakes as enquiries surged from the paints and coating industries to support the recovering automotive sector.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Ethyl Acetate supplies in the region remained tight for a larger part of the first quarter as the supplies of feedstock Acetic Acid were limited due to unplanned turnarounds heard across the US Gulf Coast. With its strong diversion towards the pharmaceutical sector, the demand outlook remained firm despite lingering uncertainties in the supply dynamics. The plant outages caused amid the unprecedented freeze weather conditions in the US Gulf region crippled the inventory levels the demand surged as the inventories were running low and the consumption from the downstream sector remained upbeat. The widened supply-demand gap resulted in spiked prices of Ethyl Acetate in the US market, which further forced the local buyers to extend their flexibility towards the Asian stocks.
Limited availability of the feedstock Acetic acid pushed up the production cost of several downstream Acetyl producers amid planned shutdowns during the Chinese Lunar New year holidays. The demand however surged from the downstream sector. the supply-demand gap difference followed by the global supply shortages resulted in price uptrend. Inflated shipping costs and container shortages additionally impacted the material movement on the global scale. Exports of Ethyl Acetate from India jumped substantially due to its high global demand, exceeding 8110 KT in February with majority volumes shipped to European countries especially Italy, Belgium and Russia. In India, Ethyl Acetate prices gained by USD 615/tonne within the quarter.
The European market of Ethyl Acetate improved during the quarter and attained a balanced status, as a major player ended its turnaround and improved the domestic regional supplies, However, some constraints were addressed as Celanese announced a planned turnaround in March, followed by the reduced supplies from the US. The demand however improved as the buying activities improved from the pharma sector amid tightened market conditions due to COVID lockdown in various parts of the region.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Ethyl Acetate supply across Asia was observed getting tighter by the end of the Q3 with the prices gradually increasing due to restricted supply. The spot prices of Ethyl Acetate were observed to be hovering around USD 725/tonne FOB China. Key Chinese producer Jiangmen Handsome Chemical Development shut its 200 KTPA Ethyl Acetate plant in Taixing, Jiangsu in September. In South Korea, Korea Alcohol Industrial also shut its plant for scheduled maintenance. The price of Ethyl Acetate were observed to be steady due to stable demand-supply gap. Exports from China to other Asian countries increased due to increased demand in cleaning and sanitizing industry. Brisk trades pushed up the price of Ethyl Acetate to a seven-month high in September.
North America’s Ethyl Acetate supply continued to fall due to rise in demand of upstream ethanol in hand sanitizer production. With the surge in the number in coronavirus cases, the demand of single use plastics increased that subsequently led to upstream supply concerns. The growing demand coupled with stiff supply pressured the dynamics. The prices of Ethyl Acetate took an all time high due to disrupted demand-supply issues during Q3. In Q4, the demand is expected to regain stability and the supply of the product is also anticipated to reach high levels.
The European demand of Ethyl Acetate was low due to limited offtakes by the end-users. Extended lockdowns disrupted the demand of the Ethyl Acetate in majorly all the countries of Europe. The prices of raw material were comparatively higher than observed in Q1 and Q2. Due to unattractive prices offered by the overseas nations like India and Brazil, buyers turned favorable towards domestic players. Demand jumped in September but remained shrouded with uncertainties amid looming economy as fears of second coronavirus wave pressured the overall activity.