For the Quarter Ending June 2022
The prices of n-Heptane were stable in the North American market during the second quarter of 2022 and started falling by the end of June. Stable demand from downstream cement, inks, and other solvents pushed the market prices downwards. The prices of International Crude Oil fell globally in April and the end of June, affecting the market sentiments. Oil prices continued to be under pressure as supply expectations in the market due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict eased slightly. Varying freight charges also affected the prices and shipment rates. Ample product availability was seen in the market with the traders as the product consumption decreased.
The prices of n-Heptane fell in the Asian market during the second quarter of 2022 with a quarterly declination of 3.2% in China, as recorded by Chem Analyst pricing team data. Fluctuations in the global freight charges due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine supported the downward trend of the product in the regional market with the traders. Falling demand from downstream cement, solvents, and inks enterprises affected the market sentiments. Decreasing freight charges in the Asian market during the second quarter impacted the prices drastically, relieving cost pressure from the prices. The inventories were increasing with the suppliers, and the product consumption rate was hurt.
n-Heptane prices were stable in the European Union regions during the second quarter of 2022, with the fluctuations in the global petrochemicals market due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine supporting the prices of Crude Petroleum. The freight charges and downstream demand were observed to be steady, affecting the market sentiments. The Russian war directly impacted the product trade, which impacted the regional market's consumption, buying, and selling. The processing costs of n-Heptane were optimal, and production of the products was more, causing ample availability of the products in the market.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
The n-Heptane market remained firm throughout the first quarter of 2022 under the cost pressure from skyrocketing upstream Crude oil value and strong demand from downstream solvents and other industries. Regional market dynamics remained tighter as the global demand for crude oil overpowered the available supply. Additionally, the East European conflict further worsened the demand-supply fundamentals of crude oil. During the quarter, Chevron Phillips reported normalcy in production with little to no production disruptions. The company also stated that while the steady rise in crude oil may not have any short-term consequences, the mid-to-long-term consequences might be disastrous, with worldwide ramifications. Thus, n-Heptane prices were assessed at USD 2518/MT during March.
Soaring upstream Crude oil value has been putting pressure on the global market, where downstream derivative players have started feeling the heat. n-Heptane prices has been escalating for the past few months across the Asian market on the back of stable offtakes from the downstream solvent sector coupled with rising input raw material costs. Furthermore, the rising infection rate of the new Omicron variant in China has become a concern to the regional players. Regardless of its less lethal effect, China's zero-tolerance and zero-covid policy has disturbed the overall economic growth of the regional market. Thus, post witnessing a consistent hike, n-Heptane (99%) price hovered around USD 1916/MT on a FOB basis in China and USD 2434/MT Ex-Mumbai, India, towards the end of the first quarter.
In the first quarter of 2022, n-Heptane prices remained firm due to intense cost pressure and robust demand from downstream solvent players. Upstream Crude oil started the year on a solid note, however, Russia's invasion of Ukraine exacerbated market dynamics, and crude oil went haywire where the prices were assessed at more than USD 130 per barrel. Consequently, downstream derivatives, including n-Heptane, came under pressure. Imports become strained as the relationship between the West and Russia got to its lowest point in decades. With limited availability and increased inflationary pressure, production costs increased substantially. Hence, in Q1, n-Heptane prices were assessed at USD 2805 per MT in Europe.
In North America, the price trend of n-heptane marked stability during October and November. Pricing dynamics of upstream crude oil during these months was showcasing uptrend in October and marginally eased in November. While showcased significant ease in December, providing ease to downstream heptane in the domestic market. Meanwhile, downstream paints and coatings sector remained comparatively dull than other segment throughout the quarter, which also remained a major factor behind overall lower offtakes for the product across regional market. Thus, overall market of n-heptane was observed low in the ending December of quarter 4 of 2021.
In Asia, during the fourth quarter of 2021, n-heptane prices rose consistently, which was assessed around USD 2025/MT in India during October. Rising crude oil value remained a prime factor that pushed up the prices of n-heptane during Quarter 4 across regional market. However, the market of crude oil in China was observed fluctuating in the meantime and increased by the end of December, which resulted into overall stability in the price of n-heptane. Furthermore, demand for the product from the downstream solvent market remained firm, while traders noted ample offtakes from niche buyers.
The overall outlook showed that the price of n-heptane witnessed firmness during the Q4 2021 across European market. However, due to high natural gas prices amidst rising upstream crude oil values, input cost rose exponentially for several commodities including n-heptane. As the consumption increased in October and November so the prices increased for the product, while improved upstream crude oil availability in Europe market provided some ease to prices in December and the market of paints and coatings was stable throughout the quarter.