Fatty Alcohol Prices Overview

Market Overview

Quarterly Update on Global Fatty Alcohol Market
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Fatty Alcohol market remained largely subdued in the beginning of the third quarter, but trades and discussions were heard picking up towards the end of Q3. The market participants looked anxious over volatility and escalation in price of the key feedstock palm oil. However, some anticipated the prices to ease with the arrival of the peak harvest season, in the Aug-Sep period. Limited upstream stocks in Indonesia and Malaysia tightened the supply of oleochemicals across Southeast Asia with some buyers waiting for the feedstock prices to soften till August-end to support production margins. Recovery of certain downstream sectors remained a key concern for both buyers and sellers who preferred to keep the offers low to avoid inventory pile ups. CFR India price of C18-C22 Fatty Alcohols were assessed around USD 1400 per tonne, showing slight improvement on QoQ basis.
North America
US Fatty Alcohol market during the third quarter was largely driven by volatility across the oil palm complex, as demand from the key end-markets outside the cleaning sector showed muted recovery from the pandemic blows. Supply was heard easing with the arrival of delayed shipments from Asia while the demand in the rest of the America’s remained dampened during Q3 2020. However, temporary disruptions due to seasonal hurricanes across several parts of the US gulf and rising COVID-19 cases remained a significant concern among the regional traders. Many believed that the demand surge during Q2 proved to be short-lived, as supply lengthened with a gradual lift in lockdowns and other coronavirus-related movement restrictions prompting consumers to get back to normal purchasing habits.
Supply chain disruptions which were heard during Q2 across Europe were heard significantly easing moving into Q3, prompting buyers to replenish their stocks. At the same time, suppliers were cautious as production may remain impacted as some Fatty Alcohol producers in Europe were planning to announce turnarounds and maintenance-related work in the coming months, thereby affecting the supply. Buyers remained of the view that the price trend going ahead, will all depend on the way palm kernel oil (PKO) behave as the demand continued to soften but higher PKO costs may mitigate the trend in the forthcoming quarters.

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ChemAnalyst gathers information through primary research surveys conducted with various Fatty Alcohol manufacturers, spread across the domestic and international market, suppliers and dealers/distributors to gain insights into value-chains and demand-supply scenario to assess the market situation. Thorough study of company’s annual reports and secondary sources such as exhaustive search on credible paid databases, including our internal database is done to verify the information. All the collected information is analyzed, evaluated and presented in chronological order to depict a meaningful and clear picture of the concerned market.
Our dedicated team of industry experts comprehensively monitors and analyzes various aspects of the Global Fatty Alcohol market. The team analyzes various industrial segments, strategic viewpoints and provides an analysis of the industry’s performance in the long run. This would enable our clients in efficiently plan their future investments, mitigate risk, understand the cost dynamics and strike out a balance amidst market volatility.
Critical examination of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chains and shift in demand patterns with change in buying behavior of consumers across the globe.
Several ongoing development projects across industries are tracked, followed by the details of major projects in the development stage, which can positively or negatively influence Global Fatty Alcohol market.
Pricing is captured through exhaustive primary interviews with domestic and international manufacturers, traders and importers and customers on monthly and yearly basis.

Finally, region-specific markets for Fatty Alcohol are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.


Fatty alcohols are high molecular weight, long-chain primary alcohols with the number of carbon atoms varying from 4 to as many as 22-26. These are generally derived from natural fats and oils. The physical state of Fatty Alcohols is highly dependent on the chain length, unsaturation or saturation and branching. For example, stearyl alcohol is a saturated alcohol possessing 18 carbons and melting point of 58 deg. Celsius while oleyl alcohol is an unsaturated 18-carbon alcohol possessing one double bond and melting point of -7.5 deg. Celsius. Iso-stearyl alcohol is an 18-carbon alcohol with one methyl branch and melting point of less than -60 dec. Celsius. Fatty Alcohols have several commercial applications, including their use as lubricants, surfactants, solvents, emulsifiers, plasticizers, thickeners, and even fuels. They are the most common ingredients of personal care and home care products. They are used in a variety of cosmetics such as as shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, antiperspirant and lipstick. Fatty Alcohols are usually manufactured by two processes- the first is an oleochemical process, based on natural oils and fatty acids and the other is a synthetic route. Naturally, Fatty Alcohols are produced by transesterification of vegetable or animal derived triglycerides followed by hydrogenation of the thus formed esters to alcohol. The natural oils used are mainly palm oil and palm kernel oils (for C16-18 alcohols), coconut oil (for C12-14 alcohols) and other natural vegetable oils (like corn, soybean etc.) may also be used. In the synthetic route, petroleum feedstocks are made to undergo the Ziegler process in which Ethylene is further polymerized using triethylaluminium (TEA) as a catalyst, followed by air oxidation. The process produces even-numbered fatty alcohols.