For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Supply in the North American region improved in comparison to the previous quarter as refineries increased the production margins to improve the overall availability of materials. Overall, the market outlook recovered from the impact of the winter storm. Demand was exceptional throughout the quarter as orders from domestic and overseas market were piled up since the previous quarter. Offtakes were also consistent from various downstream manufacturing facilities, especially from the paints and coating industries as the region observed a seasonal hike in construction activities. Consequently, Eastman Chemicals surged Glycol Ether offers by USD 880 per tonne in June.
Supply of Glycol Ether in the Asia Pacific region remained tight during the second quarter of 2021, owing to scheduled turnarounds in several plants in Northeast Asian region. However, the condition improved proportionally in the later half, as export volumes to the western region were curtailed by significant margin as the production in US Gulf Cost considerably recovered. Demand in the Asia Pacific region remained volatile, although offtakes remained consistent from the downstream industries. Prices of Glycol Ether in India stabilized against the reluctant offtakes from buyers with Ex-depot Mumbai offers drifting to USD 1103 pe tonne in June.
During the second quarter of 2021, supplies in the European region remained persistently tight in the first half of the quarter, however the situation improved in the second half as several major manufacturers including Dow and BASFs (Germany) ended their prolonged force majeure. Besides, further support in supply was provided by improved availability of the upstream n-Butanol. Demand observed a seasonal peak from paints and coating industries owing to the revival in construction activities in the Northwest European region.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Glycol Ether supplies were constrained in the North American region during Q1 2021, as a major producing plant went for turnaround during the first half of Q1. Furthermore, production loss caused due to the freeze weather conditions in the US gulf region tightened the market supply. In March, Eastman Chemicals announced a surge in the prices of Glycol Ether by USD 550/tonne, amid spiked demand from the downstream sectors and firmer upstream rates. Extended lead times tensed buyers but refinery rates were heard ticking upward towards the end of the quarter ensuring better chemical availability moving into Q2.
The supply of Glycol ether remained short, owing to limited stock and constrained feedstock availability, followed by plant outages caused due to the Chinese Lunar new year holidays. Import from the North American region was lesser due to supply shortage amidst extreme weather conditions. Demand, however surged as the resurgence of COVID in South-eastern Asian economies increased the consumption from the disinfectant sector. Shortage in the feedstock Propylene surged the prices of Propylene Glycol Ether (PGE) in India to USD 1085/ton in March respectively.
During the first quarter of 2021, supplies remained tight, amidst some production related constraints in Northeast Europe followed by decline in imports from the US. Furthermore, high demand added to constraints in the quarterly supplies. The demand from downstream sectors improved amid improved consumption from the disinfectants and paints and coatings industry.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
With several producers reducing their operating rates and a few of them imposing a temporary turnaround, Glycol Ether supply considerably reduced in Q3. Limited feedstock or sometimes poor margins compelled Butyl Glycol producers in China to opt for frequent temporary turnarounds. Trade disruptions caused by the global pandemic followed by poor weather exacerbated this supply crisis. Demand in China picked up by September due to early stockpiling activities observed before the Golden Weeklong holidays scheduled next month. Amidst the supply crises, China launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe to check on fair-trade deals from the US Glycol market. Demand in Southeast Asia appreciably improved as industries gathered prominent pace to make up for the loss incurred in the previous quarter. Driven by the reduced imports, prices of Butyl Glycol in India showcased a consistent month-on-month increment, averaging at USD 768 per MT in Q3.
Demand for several grades of Glycol Ethers including butyl di-glycol, butyl glycol, and propylene glycol methyl ether witnessed an appreciable revival with gradual improvement in buying interest observed in the latter half of the quarter. In the indefinite lockdown period, there was a prominent increment in the renovation activities that contributed well to the revival in demand from the construction industry. With easing virus panic in the country, the demand for Glycol Ethers underwent a substantial increment from the paints sector. Although relaxation in stringent restrictions levied marginal leverage to the market players but resurgent cases of coronavirus restrained the awaited market revival of Glycol Ethers in the US.
In the early part of the quarter, the supply of Glycol Ethers remained ample on the back of subdued demand and no scheduled turnarounds. In late July, restricted imports from the US aided to stabilize this widened demand and supply. Substantial revival in downstream demand further supported in stabilizing the narrowed margins of Glycol Ethers in the region. However, in the final weeks of September, demand fundamentals tapered off again due to the resurgence of coronavirus in some parts of the region leading to a fall in prices of Glycol Ethers.