For the Quarter Ending June 2021
The resumption of refineries and crackers in the US Gulf region after the restoration of industrial infrastructure eased the MIBK supply outlook in the North America as the region recovered from the devastating impact of the winter storm Uri. Upstream Acetone availability was ample to keep the production of MIBK in line and a much-needed ease in Acetone rates in the second half of Q2 maintained better operational margins. Enquiries from the domestic and overseas market surged, and the region observed seasonal hike from the paints and coatings & rubber industries to cope up with the rising demand from the building and construction sector. The prices of MIBK observed a downtrend in Q2 with FOB Texas offers settling at USD 2680 per tonne in June.
MIBK supplies in the Asia Pacific region were balanced as several manufacturers stocked up enough of Acetone which kept the production of MIBK at optimum efficiency in the second quarter of 2021. Due to the impact of second COVID wave in India, the government imposed partial lockdown to contain the spread which further limited the industrial and commercial activities in the first half of the quarter. Demand observed some rebound in the second quarter as lockdown eased in India and offtakes picked up from the paints and coating industries. Chinese supplies remained ample amid dampened domestic sales. MIBK pricing trend eased in Asia with the quarterly average standing at USD 1260 per tonne FOB Shanghai in Q2.
Supplies in the European region were surged as operating rates at several major manufacturers ramped up with better availability of upstream Acetone. Further improved imports from the US supported the availability of MIBK in the regional market. Demand remained firm from the paints & coating and rubber industries with the revival in the construction segment whereas, offtakes were consistent from the automotive sector. Buyers pushed for better discounts keeping eyes on strong inflow of competitively priced MIBK imports.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
MIBK supplies in the region were tight during the first quarter of 2021, due to the limited availability of the key feedstock Acetone, followed by the production related hinderances caused by plant turnarounds amid sub-zero temperatures in the USA Gulf region in mid-February. Altivia Ketones raised the prices of MIBK for March deliveries by USD 100/MT in early February. Demand was bolstered amid short supplies, after enquiries surged from the downstream electronics and paint & coatings sector. FOB Texas MIBK prices witnessed a significant surge of USD 230/MT on month-on-month basis to reach USD 2625/MT for April MIBK deliveries. Exports to different regions are likely to stay hampered at least till April.
The Asian MIBK market was balanced-to-tight during the first quarter as the import volumes stood hampered due to material shortages occurring in the western regions, followed by the production hiccups as the downstream plant’s shutdown prior to the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. However, several buyers sought to replenish their inventories after the holidays sensing increment in demand from the paints and coating sector. FOB prices for the MIBK April deliveries were settled at USD 1272/MT in March-end.
The European market was sluggish as the supplies were tight during the first quarter of 2021 owing to curtailed production amid bad weather conditions and container shortages causing raw material Acetone to shorten in supply. Extreme weather conditions led to reduced operating rate of the plants in the northwestern European region. Demand remained balanced in the region as the offtakes from the automotive and construction sector surged towards the end.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
The Asian MIBK market witnessed consistent demand from almost all the end-use sectors, majorly rubber tyre producers and the paints & coatings sector by the end of third quarter. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of production plants which became non-operational in Q2 resumed their operations near to the end Q3. China’s Ningbo Zhenyang started its 15,000 tonnes/year plant by the closing of Q3. Supply remained impacted as several leading players delayed resumption in their production lines. PetroChina Jilin delayed the restart of its 15,000 tonnes/year plant till October, from the earlier scheduled September. This triggered a marked shortage in the supply of MIBK in the region. Firming crude supported by nagging production helped in pushing the prices upward since the August end.
The North American MIBK demand in the US and other American countries was noted to be constant during the third quarter. Strong pick-up in the upstream Propylene and crude oil further further rendered an inclining trend to the regional MIBK prices. Lack of movement across the region in Q2 dure to trade related restrictions was seen easing by the mid of Q3. Slowdown in the downstream construction and paints & coating sector in the US significantly reduced the overall MIBK consumption which however is anticipated to trace back to pre-COVID era towards the year-
Shortage in the product supply was reported in Q3 on account of halted imports from the Asian countries like China which was heard dedicatedly ramping up feedstock exports over derivatives. Plant turnarounds amid surging COVID-19 cases exacerbated the supply shortage in the region during Q2 and Q3. However, increasing demand and recovering dynamics in the downstream paints & coatings and automotive sectors bolstered the overall producer run rates towards the end of Q3.