For the Quarter Ending June 2022
In the second quarter of 2022, the price of the Methyl Ethyl Ketone market showcased a mixed sentiment. At the beginning of the quarter, the limited supply of raw materials after continuous sanctions on Russian imports inflated the Methyl Ethyl Ketone pricing. The increasing demand from the regional and domestic markets was another reason for the Methyl Ethyl Ketone price hike. Further, during the mid and end of the second quarter, the commodity's price fell gradually in the domestic market due to the reduction in the raw material values. High inventories in the previous months and the low demand from the end-use automotive, textile, and chemical sectors caused the Methyl Ethyl Ketone price to drop.
Methyl Ethyl Ketone prices dropped during the second quarter of 2022 in India. The MEK values fell due to increased import activity and poor domestic consumer sentiment. Thus, the high importation of MEK resulted in the product's wide availability. Moreover, the sinking Methyl Ethyl Ketone price trend was supported by the weak demand from makers of downstream products such as paints, rubber, coatings, and adhesives. Despite the rising upstream crude prices, the MEK market dropped continuously owing to the weak demand and ample product availability provoking the stockholders to negotiate with the existing product. As a result, the price of Methyl Ethyl Ketone settled at USD 1946/ tonne CFR JNPT in the quarter ending June 2022.
The European region witnessed a fluctuation in the Cumene price trend. Initially, the upstream crude prices increased significantly due to inflation and also a tight supply of the products. The sanctions on Russian imports have also added fuel to the previously mentioned reasons. Later, the prices started dropping as a result of narrowed demand from the paint & coating, automotive and textile sectors. Moreover, during the quarter ending June 2022, the fear of recession triggered by the US interest rate hikes resulted in the downtrend of the commodity's values. In addition, the price quoted by the manufacturers were also low, ushering in the downfall of the Methyl Ethyl Ketone market.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
Methyl Ethyl Ketone prices observed an upward trend in North America during the first quarter of 2022. Rise in upstream crude in the aftermath of Russia's invasion on Ukraine turned out as a primary factor behind the prise rise. Since the US imports MEK from Europe, the geopolitical tension has caused the disruption in trade and delay in supplies, which had led to the rise in MEK prices. Substantial rise in the demand for paints from the construction and automotive industries has also positively impacted the MEK market trend in Q1. MEK prices witnessed a rise by nearly USD 200-300/MT in Q1 2022. In addition, US sanctions on Russian oil and gas led to an energy crisis, further influencing the MEK market.
During the first quarter of 2022, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) prices showcased a mixed sentiment. In February, the price dropped due to dull market sentiments amidst the Lunar holidays. The cost of MEK in India settled at USD 1791 per MT CFR JNPT by the end of February. Later in March, the MEK market rose due to the soaring upstream crude prices because of the disruption caused by geopolitical tension. In addition, the rise in the demand for solvents from paints & coating industry further led to the inclination in MEK values by around 16.9%.
In Europe, MEK prices showcased an upward trajectory during the first quarter of 2022, supported by the favourable buying momentum in the regional market. Further, Russia's invasion of Ukraine resulted in upstream crude and feedstock price hike, which positively impacted the MEK market. Besides, the growing construction industry and rapid urbanization increased the demand for downstream paints & coatings, impacting the price of MEK. In March, the cost of MEK in the Netherlands surged to USD 2670 per MT FD Rotterdam.
For the Quarter Ending December 2021
In North America, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) market showcased mixed sentiments during the third quarter of 2021. At the beginning of the quarter, MEK prices rose due to limited availability of the material amid its substantial demand. In November, normalcy in the operating rates of industry eased the supply situation which directly impacted its prices. In the US, MEK prices witnessed significant ease in December due to the drop in raw material prices as well as seasonal slowdown in consumption. Consistent ease in freight rates throughout Q4 also assisted in taking down MEK prices in North America. FOB MEK prices in the USA were assessed at USD 1470 per MT in December.
In Q4, the market outlook of MEK in Asia remained mixed due to fluctuation in demand pattern. In October, MEK prices in the regional market skyrocketed due to several combined factors including limited production in China and high demand due to the festive season in India. Traders ran out of stocks, as imports got expensive week over week in the regional market. However, post festive season, peaked prices reached normalcy across Indian market, as stock availability gradually improved. Traders revealed that, improved imports from China levelled up their inventories level, that opportune them to ease their product cost. Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) prices continued to throughout December as the demand for solvents in paint and coating industry went down due to the seasonal factor. Amidst the ample availability of MEK and slow buying momentum, CFR MEK prices for India dropped down to USD 1715 per MT in the month of December.
In Europe, MEK market experienced marginal uptrend in early Q4 due to unprecedented rise in energy values. MEK prices surged in the beginning of the quarter backed by limited supplies from the overseas amidst favourable buying momentum. In December, MEK prices observed a significant drop following the decline in seasonal demand from the paints and coatings industry. Ease in freight rates also assisted in pulling down MEK prices in Europe. MEK FD prices averaged at USD 1470 per MT in December.
For the Quarter Ending September 2021
In North America, the Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) market witnessed an upward rally as its demand remained strong throughout the third quarter owing to a steadily recovering economy. The demand from the paints & coatings, textiles and plastics industries remained the key drivers. However, the supply was constrained due to soaring prices of catalyst (Cu/Zn) during this timeframe. Ahead of the hurricane season the prices of MEK witnessed a slight dip as suppliers looked to avoid increased costs of transportation by offloading their stocks at a discount. But in the latter part of the quarter The prices recovered during the post hurricane season and will likely follow the trend going into the 4th quarter.
In Asia, the prices of MEK experienced an exponential rise owing to the robust demand from the downstream sectors after the resurgence in the industrial and economical activities. In addition, the spiraling price of feedstock Butanol also contributed to the inflation in the values of MEK in the region. In India, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) price rally kept its upward momentum backed by delayed imports from China due to the congestion on several ports and shortage of shipping containers. Moreover, a firm demand pattern from the domestic market was seen throughout the quarter. In addition, some domestic manufacturers had submitted application suggesting antidumping duty on imports of MEK from China, which might be another reason behind this steep rise. However, Indian authorities did not take any further step regarding the same, but the price escalation continued during this timeframe. Hence, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) CFR Jnpt prices accessed at USD 1617.99 per MT in September showcased a significant hike since July.
In the European region, the Methyl Ethyl Ketone market traced an exponential rise in its demand from Paint and Coatings sector with the revival in industrial and market activities during the third quarter of 2021. Hinderance in the imports from the US due to the arrival of Ida hurricane that made landfall in the gulf coast of US on 29th August led to scarcity of the product and consequently led to the rise in the MEK prices. Moreover, high freight charges further sent ripples to the values of MEK in this quarter.
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Offtakes of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) from the paints and coating industries witnessed a seasonal hike to cope up with the improved enquiries from the building and construction sector. Whereas the supply outlook observed a drastic change in the North American region owing to restoration of the industrial infrastructure at several major producers. Transportation and logistic delays continued to impact the regional availability despite an increase in the supplies from Asia and Europe. The pricing trend in the North American market stabilized in the second quarter after reporting strong gains amidst easiness supplies with FOB Texas discussion settled at USD 2140 per tonne in June.
Methyl Ethyl Ketone supplies in the Asia pacific region improved during the second quarter of 2021, however the demand outlook in the South Asian region was subdued due to the impact of second COVID wave in India. Hence, enquiries from the Indian buyers were limited in the first half of the quarter. Although, situation improved as the vaccination programmes picked up pace in India, the demand recovered proportionally. The pricing trend in India witnessed mixed results with FOB Mumbai discussions assessed at USD 1440 per tonne in June. Whereas the overall MEK market outlook in China remained balanced as the offtakes were consistent from the paints industries to fulfil the enquiries from the construction, automotive and renovation sector.
During the second quarter of 2021, the Methyl Ethyl Ketone market in the European region eased proportionally with EU being the key exporter in the previous quarter to major importer in this quarter for the North American region. Furthermore, improved operating rates at several producing plants post winter season supported the market outlook in the European region. Demand witnessed the seasonal hike from the paints and coating industries as the construction activities picked up pace and the offtakes were consistent from the automotive and renovation sector.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
MEK supplies in the region were tight during the first quarter of 2021, due to the collapse of the industrial infrastructure as the several key feedstock plants shut their production in mid-February amid the extreme freeze weather conditions in the Texas and nearby Gulf region, creating global supply shortage. Demand took a leap after production hiccups ended in late March and consumption from the downstream construction and paint and coating sector surged. The FOB Texas prices witnessed a multifold surge in the first quarter showing an average hike of +USD 775/MT from January to USD 2085/MT for April deliveries.
Asian MEK market was balanced during the first quarter of 2021, as the export segment took an uptrend due to supply shortages occurring in the western regions. However, some constraints were witnessed during the Chinese lunar new year holidays which led to the shortage of key feedstocks in the northeastern Asian region. After the holidays, the situation balanced out as MEK plants operated at maximum efficiencies. Demand was stable due to constant consumption from the downstream solvent sector. Prices in the southeastern region took a downtrend with CFR JNPT prices in India assessed at USD 850/MT in March. In China, FOB prices surged by +USD 60/MT during the quarter.
The European market was sluggish as the supplies were balanced to tight during the first quarter of 2021, owing to reduced imports from the USA amid bad weather conditions, followed by the regional transportation hinderance in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp route. However, situation balanced out as a producer in the region struggled to manage their inventory levels ahead of turnaround period in the next quarter. Demand improved in the region as the offtakes from the automotive and construction sector surged, with the significant growth seen in exports.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Several large-scale manufacturers of MEK maintained relatively low operating rates in July-September quarter against the backdrop of subdued domestic demand. Few of the manufacturers were heard adopting a wait and see approach in the second half of the quarter as majority of downstream industries were either shut or were running at reduced rates under the fears of demand uncertainty as a repercussion of coronavirus outbreak. In September, demand for MEK witnessed a marginal rebound in China as the government carried out several initiatives to uplift the sunken economy. However, it was not enough to sustain the market for a good amount of time and compelled China to again long for exports. In India, the revival of automotive industry by the end of September showcased much-needed hopes towards stability of MEK market in the near future. CFR prices for MEK in India were assessed around USD 1135 per MT, witnessing a decline by USD 25 per MT from the previous quarter.
Ample imports of MEK from Asia during Q3 of 2020 directed excess supply to the European market, leading to a sharp drag in its market fundamentals. Resumption in operations of the automotive industry did not provide the expected push to the MEK demand as the overall offtakes were still quite low as compared to pre-lockdown levels. In addition, feeble demand from paints and coatings applications due to limited construction activities further delayed the rebound of MEK market in Europe. However, consumption of MEK viably increased for furniture-related to adhesives in comparison to its other segments.