For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Isopropyl Acetate demand remained modest during this quarter across North America region. Improvement in economic activities in USA increased the consumption of several petrochemical products including Isopropyl Acetate in the country. Meanwhile, prices of feedstock Acetic Acid kept rising under the crippled supply activities. Traders revealed that, they received significant queries for the products from the downstream solvent, paints and plastic segment in the meantime. Thus, an effective rise in prices of Isopropyl Acetate was observed during Q2 2021, across North America region.
Isopropyl Acetate prices remained in a narrow range, due to modest demand and ample availability across the region. In China, demand for the product remained firm to modest from the domestic solvent and plastic segment, due to significantly high economic activities compared to other Asian countries. However, as the availability of feedstock Acetic Acid remained abundant in the country, it restrained the overall price hike of Isopropyl Acetate. In India, prices of feedstock Acetic Acid were rose initially in April due to procurement issues from China. However, despite of this price hike in Acetic Acid, prices of Isopropyl Acetate remained in a narrow range due to feeble demand from the downstream segment under second wave of pandemic in the country.
European market witnessed stable demand outlook for Isopropyl Acetate during this quarter. Economic activities in several European countries improved effectively, which boosted the demand for several petrochemicals products from the downstream sectors. Construction sector showcased a considerable improvement, which enhanced the demand for paints and coating segment, and eventually demand improved for Isopropyl Acetate. However, builders faced shortage of several raw material, which disturbed trade activities across major routes.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The North American market encountered firm demand for Isopropyl Acetate in the midst of global solvent shortage. However, the supply constraints escalated the prices of Isopropyl Acetate across the region during Q1 2021. Regional supply remained halted after devastating winter storm Uri hit the gulf of USA, which led the manufacturers to implement force majeures on several plants either due to shortage of upstream chemicals or due to unfavourable operating conditions. Celanese announced force majeure at its Texas-based plant of Isopropyl Acetate. Meanwhile, after encountering severe raw material shortage, several manufacturers increased their Isopropyl Acetate prices across the region, like Eastman announced increment of USD 220/MT at its Isopropyl Acetate for North America and Latin America during March.
Similar scenario was observed in the APAC region, where under firm demand fundamentals the supply remained inadequate to satisfy the overall need of the region. In addition, trade activity between China and other countries like Japan and South Korea remained halted due to route congestion and some planned turnarounds. Thus, Isopropyl Acetate prices rose effectively from USD 1125/MT to USD 1435/MT during January-March timeframe in China. In addition, not only shortage but high shipping cost also left a significant effect on the prices of Isopropyl Acetate as well on its raw material Acetic acid and Isopropanol.
Global solvent crisis impacted the European market harshly and led price escalation on several solvents including Isopropyl Acetate. The demand was consistent against the supply, as high shipping rates across Asia-Europe trade route, forced traders to resist themselves from taking risk of premium cargoes. In addition, supply remained halted from North America region after the US gulf storm, for Isopropyl Acetate and feedstock materials like Acetic Acid.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
The price curve of Isopropyl Acetate took an uptrend taking cues from the upstream Iso propanol (IPA) and Acetic Acid prices. Tight supply of raw materials due to several plant shutdowns in Q4, both planned and unplanned supported the uptrend. Raw material availability remained disrupted¬¬ for almost half of the quarter as South Korea’s LG Chem curtailed operating rates at one of its IPA producing facility due to a fire accident. Isopropyl Acetate supply remained capped particularly in India and Japan due to container shortages prevailing in Asia. Demand however saw Q-o-Q improvement as traders were heard restocking ahead of the New Year holidays.
While demand for Isopropyl Acetate remained firm initially due to some stockpiling of Isopropyl Acetate as a feedstock for paints and printing ink formulations, sentiments turned mixed later in the quarter due to hovering concerns over the third wave of COVID-19 infections and fresh lockdowns in some European countries. Persistent tightness in the upstream propylene markets in December pushed up the IPAc price curve during the second half of the quarter. Tighter IPA imports from Asia prompted lower Isopropyl Acetate plant operating rates in Europe due to feedstock supply crunch.
With the upstream IPA supply tightened due to global production issues, major Isopropyl Acetate manufacturers announced fresh round of increment in their Q4 2020 rates. US Isopropyl Acetate market showed strong response to the tightness across the Asian markets. Traders expressed worries over high container costs from east Asia as a result of maintenance turnarounds in some of the IPA producing units. Responding to market conditions, Eastman Chemical Co. announced increase in its December 2020 Isopropyl Acetate offers by USD USD 70 per Mt valid for both North America and Latin America. Dow also raised its Isopropyl Acetate offers USD 66 per Mt.