For the Quarter Ending June 2021
The resumed industrial activities in the US Gulf Coast, improved the market outlook during the second quarter of 2021. As a repercussion the supplies in the n-Hexane observes a drastic surge and improved compared to the previous quarter, however some hinderance was observed as the colonial pipeline was shut for a week due to the cyber-attack in the second quarter. Amidst the recovered supply chains and increased industrial activities, the demand supply gap narrowed which further eased the prices in the regional market. Demand was deemed good following continuous offtakes from the rubber and pharmaceutical industries.
During the second quarter of 2021, market activities were subdued in the Asia Pacific region due to unprecedented rise in COVID cases in several Southeast Asian countries. The second COVID wave in India restricted the public movement and amidst the hovering uncertainties buyers were reluctant to procure in bulk. However, the situation improved in the second half following the ease in restrictions which led to improved market activities, therefore the offers of n-Hexane were raised in June with Ex-Work Kandla prices reaching USD 805 per tonne. In China, imports of the brent crude surged which proportionally improved the availability of the n-Hexane in the Chinese market.
n-Heptane market in the European region showcased mixed trends during the second quarter. Availability in the first half of Q2 remained constraint owing to the low production levels at several manufacturing facilities along with the delayed exports to the Asian buyers. The condition improved in the second half, as the supply chain was restored with better output and export of crude oil. Demand remained continuous from downstream rubber and pharmaceutical sector. Thus, prices in the European region remained stable to firm in the second quarter of 2021.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The North American n-Hexane market was severely impacted as the extreme freeze weather conditions in Texas and US Gulf coast area took a toll over almost all the regional crackers which were shut starting mid-February. Surging Crude rates proportionally impacted the prices of almost all grades of n-Hexane in the region. ExxonMobil announced positive price revision for almost all grades of n-Hexane by USD 110/MT for its March deliveries. The demand surged from the export segments, followed by improved offtakes from the downstream industrial solvent sector.
n-Hexane supplies were short in the APAC region during Q1 2021, amidst major refiners responding to Saudi Aramco’s output cut in crude oil extraction which hiked the prices of almost all petrochemical products early in the quarter. Prices of n-Hexane in China market in March were assessed at USD 1505/MT FOB Shanghai. Producing plants in the region were operating at full swing to coverup the rising enquiries from the western region which significantly improved the margins. Several buyers were heard piling up their inventories ahead of the Chinese lunar year holidays starting Feb. 12, followed by better prospect for the refinery solvents.
The supplies of n-Hexane in the region were constrained, owing to low refinery operating rates reported due to severe freeze weather and transportation lag in the northwest Europe. A sharp fall in the imported volumes was reported as the US shipments declined amid bad weather conditions with the situation further exacerbated by escalating shipment cost and Suez Canal blockage hindered the Asian supplies. On the basis of feedstock price movements, the European producers adjusted their prices to new hikes in early March.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
Steady hike in the prices of upstream crude oil backed by low product availability across Southeast Asia provided a striking upward push to the prices of N-hexane in Q4. In some southeast Asian countries, such as Malaysia and the Philippines, prolonged national lockdowns however, further dampened possible signs of demand recovery and added to the growing inventory pressure. Price of n-Hexane remained in the substantial to firm range in the first half of the quarter due to year-end restocking activities observed in China and Taiwan. Some plant turnarounds in the region indicated towards potential tightness in the supply in H1 2021.
Alleviating demand for n-Hexane from the pharmaceutical intermediates and industrial solvents pushed up the market sentiments in Europe. Several manufacturers were heard increasing their production rates in the first half of the quarter while its utilization grew in the pharmaceutical industry for forming pills and tablets. In early October, there was an upward push to the pricing curve of n- Hexane due to active restocking by end-user industries owing to levelled demand. Regional prices also rallied on the back of firmer crude oil due to production related constraints from the producing belts.
High volatility in the international crude oil market continued to hamper the n-Hexane price curve with the uniform demand growth observed in the downstream sectors. Prices revived towards the end of the quarter with immense utilization reported in the industrial solvent applications. The demand for food grade Hexane surged due to better offtakes for edible oil extraction. Eventual restart of some upstream crackers in December lifted the production volumes.