Quarterly Update on Glyoxal Market
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Despite of the industrial recovery, the demand for Glyoxal remained dull throughout the quarter across North America. While the demand outlook from the downstream textile segment remained bearish due to negligible enquiries, offtakes from the pharma segment remained stable to firm in the meantime. Negligible cargoes were exported out of the region due to slow demand and logistic delays. In addition, the price of feedstock Nitric Acid was also tracing downward trajectory, while Ethylene Glycol climbed up due to supply shortage. Therefore, the overall Glyoxal market scenario remained largely pressured during Q2 2021. However, some anticipated that economic recovery due to quick vaccination drives may lend support to the Glyoxal demand dynamics in the near term.
The demand for Glyoxal 40% remained sturdy in Asia from the pharma sector, as manufacturers exported huge number of cargoes to the buyers of neighbouring countries. China was heard exporting a large number of cargoes to the Indian buyers, majorly to the pharma sector. During this quarter, India imported around 2100 MT of Glyoxal was exported from China to India, while around 394 MT was imported from the Europe and all of these cargoes were procured by the pharma sector of India. In addition, the regional textile sector showcased dull sentiments for Glyoxal in Q2, due to lesser demand as an effect of pandemic.
The European Glyoxal market observed stability in terms of demand for a larger part of Q2, backed by stable offtakes from the downstream pharma segment. Some Indian manufacturers imported fair number of cargoes from Europe in the meantime, while domestic textile sector remained muted throughout the quarter. In addition, despite of the rising feedstock Ethylene Glycol, offers for Glyoxal fluctuated in a narrow range. Traders remained anxious about soaring freight and container cost across the key trade routes.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The North American market struggled to maintain the production levels of major important chemicals, amidst crippled overall production rates as Winter Storm Uri hit the US Gulf coast, turning a larger chunk of the US chemical production offline for several weeks. During this quarter, many Glyoxal manufacturers complained about the unavailability of feedstock chemicals, which was creating delays in shipping orders. As there are two commercial way to produce Glyoxal, key feedstock chemicals Ethylene Glycol and Nitric Acid both showed negligible availability after major plants turnarounds led to critical material shortage and raised the product prices across the region.
Similar scenario was observed with Asia where the market faced acute shortage amid lukewarm demand. Demand from the domestic paper and textile sector drove the Asian Glyoxal market during this period. However, combined effect of low inventories due to Lunar New Year holidays, high freight cost, and shortage of feedstock chemicals, elevated the value of Glyoxal across the region. The upsurge observed initially in March was on account of supply issues as BASF was unable to export the material due to weather-related challenges. FOB Qingdao (China) price of 40% Glyoxal rose from USD 900/MT to USD 980/MT in March.
The EuropeanGlyoxal market encountered low demand from the domestic paper and textile sector during quarter. Rapid surge in the cases of COVID 19 reduced the consumption of end use products, as the lockdown restrictions created tensed environment. Despite of tepid demand, supply remained insufficient to satisfy the demand early in quarter. Later, rapid vaccination rollout and significant drop in new COVID 19 cases uplifted the market sentiments across the European countries. Thus, the prices showed overall stability throughout the quarter.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
The Asian market monitored fine recovery in industrial activities during Q4 2020, due to a significant dip in COVID-19 cases and relaxation from logistic restrictions. While manufacturing activity ramped up in several economies to meet recovering demand, overseas shipments stood delayed due to limited container availability and higher ocean freight towards the end of the quarter. In the Indian market, prices of Glyoxal rose, taking cues from the prices of feedstock Nitric Acid and Acetaldehyde. Most sellers reported constrained availability of spot material to match the pent-up paper, polymers, textiles and leather goods.
The European market was hard hit due to second wave of COVID-19 infections during Q4 2020, that slowed down the industrial activities across the region. Demand from the domestic market was also not in good shape but seemed to improve in Q4. Pressured demand from the textile, paper and leather markets kept the sentiments low. Shutting down of a key downstream plant during October in Germany, led by leakage of raw materials triggered a temporary decrease in Glyoxal demand.
The North American market was suffering from acute shortage of several feedstock chemicals during the first half of the quarter due to unplanned turnarounds and force majeures on several plants across the gulf coast region due to seasonal hurricanes in Q3. The supply of both nitric acid and acetaldehyde was kept low during final quarter of 2020. This exposed the manufacturers to feedstock-related challenges. Although the demand remained low compared to previous year, but supply showed improvement on quarter-on-quarter basis.