For the Quarter Ending June 2023
Glutaraldehyde has witnessed a mixed sentiment in the second quarter owing to the demand fluctuations over the period. The price of the product surged by 5% in April but fell by 7% and 11% in the following two months. Glutaraldehyde costs rose in April as the upstream Propylene prices increased by 7% in the US market, and also, the demand from the downstream healthcare sector and water treatment industries remain significant to influence the price momentum. However, the decline by the end of the quarter can be attributed to the lower feedstock prices and sufficient inventories in the region. Further, the purchasing activities in the downstream sector have depreciated in the domestic as well as international market. On the supply side, there was a sufficient supply, and inventories were about average. Additionally, the Consumer Price Index increased by 0.1% in May, according to the US Bureau of Statistics; however, rising inflation prevented consumers from purchasing the product. Thus, the price of Glutaraldehyde in June was USD 2100/MT 50% FOB Houston (USA).
Throughout Q2 in this year 2023, the Glutaraldehyde market fundamentals remained bullish in the Asia-Pacific region, backed by the expectedly high demand in the region. The prices in China rose by 8% in April due to increased demand supported by short supplies in the country. The demand for downstream healthcare remained high in the region, while insufficient inventories have caused the costs to downshift. Further, the upstream Propylene has also supported the price trajectory. The market was impacted by inflation and economic slowdown during this period. Additionally, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came to 49.0 in June compared to 48.8 in May, indicating that the manufacturing activity was smooth. Although the prices surged throughout the quarter in China, however, the Indian Glutaraldehyde showcased mixed sentiments. As the prices hiked initially but dipped in May owing to the upstream Propylene prices, nevertheless, it gained momentum by the end of the quarter. Thus, the price of Glutaraldehyde in China was USD 1400/MT 50% FOB Shandong in June 2023, while in India, the price was quoted as INR 185000/MT 50% Ex-Mumbai.
During the second quarter of the year 2023, the prices of Glutaraldehyde declined in the European region, backed by the falling prices of upstream Hydrogen peroxide and lackluster demand. The upstream Hydrogen peroxide has seen a drop of 6% by the end of the quarter, supporting the downshift in prices. Further, the drop in the prices can be attributed to the ample supply in the market with reduced demand amidst a weakened global economy. The persistent inflationary pressures and the Russia-Ukraine war has impacted all the sectors in the region, including the healthcare sector. The major manufacturing companies of Glutaraldehyde reported having seen major losses in this quarter as compared to the previous year due to sluggish demand and the grim market outlook. Consumer purchasing sentiments have been affected due to the instability in market dynamics. Furthermore, the surplus inventories in the domestic market, along with competitive prices of the product, have caused the traders to sell the product at lower costs. The economy of the region is directly impacting consumer purchasing activities. Inflation in Germany slowed down from 6.1% in May to 5.6% in June, but as per data from the German Federal Statistical Office, the Consumers Price Index declined by 0.1% in May 2023. Further, as indicated by Eurostat, the Producers’ Price Index of the region declined to 138.3 in May from 143.4 in March and is expected to decline further. The average decline was 3.6%.
For the Quarter Ending March 2023
North American market kept on battling with domestic issues like the banking crisis, high inflation rate, slow economic activities etc., leading to frequent fluctuations in demand for several commodities, including Glutaraldehyde. As per the data, feedstock formaldehyde prices fluctuated throughout the quarter, compelling prices of downstream derivatives, including Glutaraldehyde. As Glutaraldehyde has a wide number of applications in multiple industries, it is hard to predict the overall demand dynamics of the product, as it varies month over month and industry over the industry. However, the FED's frequent price revisions for domestic interest rates were also contributing to economic worries and impacting demand for the product.
The data shows that Asian Glutaraldehyde market fundamentals remained bearish throughout quarter 1 of 2023, owing to ample supplies and a narrow demand-supply gap. The price of Glutaraldehyde 50% FOB Shandong (China) and CFR JNPT (India) fell in March 2023 due to low demand and healthy production activities. The Chinese market saw a steep fall in price with no significant improvement in the economy and low overseas demand, while the Indian market also saw a significant fall in price due to low demand and cheaper imports from China. The supply remained stable, and producers kept their inventories flourishing under the expectation of improved demand. The market situation was bearish, and the demand remained low from the downstream procurers.
European economy kept on battling with high inflationary pressure and low demand in several downstream industries during this quarter. Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the European economy has performed below expectations, impacting regional economic activities. Data shows that demand for Glutaraldehyde from the domestic healthcare industry has remained low, while other sectors, such as Oil & Gas and textiles, have also experienced low demand. Further, under the influence of low demand, domestic raw material prices like formaldehyde also ended up on a bearish note after facing an uptrend initially. Despite supply chain disruptions caused by snow, supplies remained stable to firm, and the narrow demand-supply gap supported a downward price trend. Additionally, the decreased threat of a recession generated hope for future demand.
The fourth quarter of 2022 saw a decline in the cost of Glutaraldehyde in the American market. The cost of Glutaraldehyde has significantly decreased as a result of falling U.S. feedstock hydrogen peroxide costs. The domestic market had an adequate spot supply of Glutaraldehyde, and market transactions were mostly driven by demand and supply. Although the U.S. supply chain had gradually improved and was less congested in ports by the middle of the fourth quarter compared to the most severe days of the pandemic's first year, this had very less impact on the country's Glutaraldehyde price movements.
Prices for Glutaraldehyde significantly decreased throughout the course of the quarter in the Asia Pacific region, especially in China. While consumer inflation slowed in November, factory prices in China fell annually. This indicates a negative trend, such as weak demand and higher inventories among market participants, in an economy that had been hampered by strict economic controls. Glutaraldehyde's price dropped on the Chinese market in the fourth quarter of 2022 because of a reduction in purchasing sentiment brought on by the weak economies in Asian markets. The pricing trend for Glutaraldehyde was consistent with the Chinese market throughout the fourth quarter of 2022 in Japan and India.
Prices for Glutaraldehyde decreased throughout the fourth quarter of 2022 in the European market. Demand in the downstream paper and pulp industry was low in the regional markets as a result of insufficient operation rates brought on by high energy prices. Purchasing sentiment was poor as a result of lower bleaching requirements in the downstream lumbering sectors as a result of poor run rates. The order from the downstream pharmaceutical, coating, and chemical sectors increased significantly in mid-Q4, and prices began to rise moderately. Additionally, the upstream Hydrogen Peroxide prices shifted in December, the final month of the fourth quarter, which supported the somewhat rising price trends of Glutaraldehyde in Germany.