For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Ethylene Carbonate price showcased strong sentiments during this quarter in USA, due to substantial demand from downstream electric batteries. Consequently, prices of feedstock Ethylene Oxide rose steeply due to shortage during the meantime, which ultimately affected the price of Ethylene Carbonate in the country. Under new administration of Joe Biden, electric vehicles segment got a boost, as the new policies regarding emission from combustion engine gave opportunities to electrical vehicle manufacturers to expand their business. Meanwhile, many battery manufacturers planned to expand their production to counter the future demand in the country. Huntsman announced the expansion of its ultrapure Ethylene Carbonate manufacturing capacity by the mid of 2023.
Prices of Ethylene Carbonate remained stable across the APAC region during Q2 2021. While the demand from downstream sectors in India narrowed as the resurgence of pandemic halted the overall consumption in the country during May and June. However, due to spill over effect of global surge in prices of Ethylene Carbonate despite of the stable demand outlook in the country, prices of Ethylene Carbonate maintained its overall firmness in India. Despite of decline in demand during the month of June, prices were counterbalanced by halted trading activities across the major ports in India. In China, demand for Ethylene Carbonate remained firm from domestic Lithium-Ion batteries segment. Therefore, prices were accessed as USD 1335/MT in India and USD 1395/MT in China in the first week of June.
Plant turnarounds in European countries like Germany, Belgium and Netherland impacted the overall availability of feedstock Ethylene Oxide across the region. The shortage led to significant rise in the price of Ethylene Carbonate during this timeframe across Europe. In addition, upstream Ethylene price in Europe also rose, as imports from USA also remained on low pace. Therefore, prices of Ethylene Carbonate remained firm throughout the quarter taking support from firm demand from batteries manufacturers and strong feedstock values.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Despite its wide applications as an electrolyte, the demand of Ethylene Carbonate (EC) from the downstream segments remained in a narrow range during Q1 2021. However, the prices showed improvement, backed by firmer feedstocks and lower regional output due to shortage of raw materials. After the winter storm in the gulf of USA, in the second half of the quarter, more than 65% of the feedstock EO (Ethylene Oxide) production was halted in the region and translating these raw material price gains, Ethylene Carbonate prices surged by double digits during the quarter.
Prices of Ethylene Carbonate rose globally due to the shortage of feedstock materials and inflation in shipping rates during the quarter. Similarly, in the Asian market, prices of EC gained by a significant percentage. Demand for EC and EO slumped in the Chinese market during the Lunar New Year holidays, which later rebounded sharply in the last week of February. Shortage of upstream Ethylene, carrying high value in the global market also impacted the prices of downstream EC.
Winter storm and unplanned turnarounds at several plants in the US gulf coast affected the availability of raw materials in the European countries. As the exports readily reduced and demand from Asia was diverted from USA and concentrated over Europe, the regional prices of Ethylene Carbonate rose effectively during this period and remained volatile with the upstream supply. This led the prices of EC to gain by a significant per cent, although the domestic demand remained comparatively lower than the export potential.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
The demand of Ethylene Carbonate remained low to moderate during Q4 2020 across the APAC region. Post COVID-19 recovery, industrial and domestic activities gained speed in most of the Asian countries. In China, Li-ion batteries market also started coming on track and demand for Ethylene Carbonate started rising though the prices remained stable at USD 1220/tonne during final quarter. In addition, Japan had a great boost of more than 10% in the prices of Ethylene Carbonate from November to December 2020 as an effect of planned shutdown of Eneos’ major upstream ethylene plant of capacity 540,000 tonne/year. Meanwhile, India faced slight boost of 2.7% in prices during the same period.
The second wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe disrupted the supply of several industrial as well as imported chemicals which created the shortage of feedstock chemicals, thereby raising Ethylene Carbonate prices. Exxonmobil’s Ethylene manufacturing unit in Scotland caught fire in October, that created forced shutdown for several days. This created more shortage of upstream Ethylene, required for the production of downstream Ethylene Oxide and Ethylene Carbonate. Meanwhile, European commission declared that they injected a huge investment for the production of lithium-ion batteries in Europe. This investment is aimed at placing Europe in second no. in battery manufacturing by 2024. EC is majorly used in Li-ion batteries and hence the demand is anticipated to rise.
North America suffered shortage of several upstream chemicals including Ethylene. The shortage came due to disrupted operations at several plants across the gulf coast as effect of multiple hurricanes across the region. The demand for EC remained stable and hence the prices didn’t fluctuate much. The price of EC hovered around 1450 USD/tonne in USA. Meanwhile, the demand of feedstock EO was increasing, that significantly uplifted its prices.