For the Quarter Ending December 2023
The H Acid market in North America during the fourth quarter of 2023 (Oct-Dec) experienced a mixed trend. The market was impacted by several factors, including increased demand from downstream dye intermediate enterprises and a lack of supplies in storage facilities. This led to an uptick in prices for H Acid in the region. Additionally, the prices of Naphthalene and Sulphuric Acid, which are feedstocks for H Acid, followed a downward trend, while Ammonia prices increased.
However, the overall demand for H Acid remained high, driven by the downstream dye intermediate markets. This resulted in a bullish market sentiment. On the other hand, low demand from these downstream ventures, coupled with sufficient stocks in storage units, led to a decline in H Acid prices. The market also witnessed a decrease in trading activities from China to the USA. No plant shutdowns were reported during this period. Among the countries in North America, the USA experienced significant changes in H Acid prices. The market in the USA was primarily influenced by low demand from downstream enterprises and ample product supplies, which led to a bearish market trend. The prices of H Acid declined in the domestic market due to low demand and production cuts among enterprises.
Overall, the H Acid market in North America saw fluctuations in prices during the fourth quarter of 2023. The quarter-ending price for H Acid CFR Texas in the USA was USD 4820/MT.
In the APAC region, the H Acid market in the fourth quarter of 2023 experienced mixed dynamics. The market was primarily affected by three key factors. Firstly, there was a surge in demand from downstream dye intermediate enterprises, creating a high level of interest in the product. However, this increased demand was not met by sufficient supplies, leading to a tight market condition. As a result, prices for H Acid experienced an upward trend. Secondly, the prices of key upstream raw materials such as ammonia and sulphuric acid inclined, contributing to the overall increase in the operating cost of H Acid. Lastly, the South Korean market, in particular, saw significant fluctuations in price due to the imbalance between supply and demand. The increased demand from the domestic market and the limited inventories forced producers to raise their quotations, resulting in a price hike. However, in H2 of Q4 2024, the prices of H-Acid experienced a decline in its trend due to lower demand from the downstream dye intermediate enterprises. The latest price for H Acid in South Korea at the end of the quarter was USD 4700/MT CFR Busan.
In the fourth quarter of 2023, the H Acid market in Europe experienced various factors that influenced prices. Firstly, the market was bullish due to high demand from downstream dye intermediate enterprises and low inventory levels. Additionally, the prices of its feedstocks, such as Sulphuric Acid and Ammonia, also increased, contributing to higher operating costs for the commodity. However, the prices of Naphthalene showcased a reverse trend, which further impacted the operating costs. Belgium, in particular, saw a rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 128.89 points in November, indicating increased inflation. The market situation remained bullish in the country, with high demand from downstream industries leading to an incline in H Acid prices. The Euro to USD exchange rate appreciated by 2.90% in November, further impacting the pricing dynamics. However, in December 2023, the prices of H-Acid showcased a declining trend due to lower demand from the downstream dye intermediate enterprises and low purchasing activities due to sufficient inventory levels. Despite the delay in the shipments due to the rerouting of the ships via the Cape of Good Hope because of the attack on the Red Sea, the prices of the commodity experienced a downward trend due to sufficient stocks in the storage facilities. Considering the bearish market situation of the commodity, the trade inflows from the Chinese market to the Belgium market were slowed down and the production rate of the commodity was also cut by the producers to avoid the overflows of the supplies. No plant shutdowns were reported during this quarter. Overall, the H Acid market in Europe witnessed a bearish trend in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by low demand, high inventory levels, and reduced operating costs. The prices of H Acid in Belgium reached USD 4840/MT, CFR-Antwerp, at the end of the quarter.
For the Quarter Ending September 2023
In the North American market, the price trend of H Acid declined during the 3rd quarter, ending in September 2023. Due to the low demand from the downstream ventures and adequate stocks in the storage units, the price trend of H Acid followed a downward price trend. Furthermore, the prices of its feedstock Naphthalene and Sulphuric acid inclined, whereas Ammonia followed the opposite price trend. Along with the low demand and production cut among the enterprises, H acid prices declined in the domestic market. Ample product supplies were present among the storage units for the low demand from the domestic market, resulting in the decline of trading activities from China to the USA. A dip in demand from the downstream Dyes and Intermediate enterprises was getting fulfilled by the existing inventories with no more need to top off the commodity. Even after the end of the National Holiday in China in the early week of October 2023, the demand remained lackluster, with low purchasing activities and suppliers remaining hesitant to raise their quotations for the domestic market. Furthermore, it was noted that the US economy grew at a faster pace for about 2 years; despite the high interest rates, inflation remains above 2% at the target level.
The price trend of H Acid declined during the third quarter ending on September 2023 and reached USD 4800/MT (FOB-Qingdao). Lackluster demand from the downstream Dye Intermediates enterprises and ample stocks among the storage units played a major role in the weak market fundamentals for the commodity. An appropriate amount of inventory among the storage units met the downstream demand with no need for restocking. Furthermore, the prices of its upstream Naphthalene and Sulphuric Acid declined due to adequate inventory levels and slow market offtakes. However, Ammonia prices gained a stance as the rapid consumption and rise in the Urea market surged the production cost. The operating rate for the commodity declined as well, supporting the price trend of the commodity. The spread between the end products and their feedstocks was less which represents the bearish market situation for the commodity. A significant drop in the demand from the downstream Dye Intermediate and Textile enterprises was observed which were fulfilled by the existing inventories. Therefore, the production rate declined to avoid the oversupplies of the commodity in the storage units. The dull market situation made the suppliers decline their offers to secure their profits. Instead, they were obliged to provide discounts on bulk purchases from the buyers.
During the 3rd quarter ending on September 2023, the price trend of H Acid followed the overall downward trend. The supply of H acid from China to Belgium was traded in sufficient amounts, and the need to restock the storage unit was null. In terms of its feedstocks, the prices of Naphthalene and Sulphuric Acid inclined whereas Ammonia inclined, the weak market situation made the producers reduce their production rate. A dip in the demand from the downstream Dyes Intermediate markets was observed for fulfilling the demand for the commodity; the existing inventories were adequate. In October 2023, with the low customer index, the inflation rate fell, contributing to the low price trend of the Petrochemical enterprises. Furthermore, the inflation rate fell to 2.9% in October 2023 from 4.3% in September 2023. Despite the upcoming festive season, consumer prices have reached their lowest since July 2021. In terms of spread, the difference between the end product and its feedstock is less, representing the bearish market situation.