For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Pentaerythritol (PENT) prices kept rising during this quarter, bolstered by improved demand from the downstream sector across the region during Q2 2021. Prices of PENT rose from USD 1854/MT to USD 2050/MT, on the back of surging feedstock prices and firm offtakes. Prices of several feedstock chemicals kept increasing which increased the demand for polyols. Thus, due the wide range of applications of the product PENT, demand remained firm during this timeframe across North America, which supported this price hike.
Asian market witnessed firm sentiments for Pentaerythritol during this quarter, which supported the prices across regional market. Traders based in China, reported sturdy offtakes from the domestic market, in effect of improved economic activities, which almost reached pre pandemic levels. While in India, despite of lower demand from the domestic polymer sector, prices-maintained buoyancy, as traders anticipated quick recovery, as in June offtakes kept improving week over week during in India. Therefore, a firm rise in prices was also observed and the prices hovered around USD 1926/MT during June in India.
Pentaerythritol (PENT) prices witnessed a steep upward momentum during this quarter across Europe. This surge in demand was backed by improvement in economic activities in effect of post pandemic recovery in several countries of Europe. In addition, unprecedented surge in demand for polyols including PENT enhanced the market sentiments, where the supply activities remained tight throughout this timeframe. Therefore, major manufacturers were compelled to raise their product prices. Perstorp increased their Pentaerythritol prices by USD 354.3/MT for Europe, Middle East and Africa, effective from 1st of July 2021.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
US witnessed extreme difficulties to sustain the production of PENT cross the region due to severe winter storm disruptions across US gulf. More than 80% plant of upstream Methanol were down during this period, which halted the overall supply across the globe and feedstock Formaldehyde manufacturers faced shortages. In addition, high demand for upstream methanol from fuel sector amid global shortage, supported its prices which hovered around USD 1560/MT during February 2021 and also increased the prices of feedstock Formaldehyde across the region.
During this quarter, Demand for PENT remained firm across APAC region, supported by demand from Polyurethane, PVC and adhesives manufacturers. In January, construction and industrial sectors showed consistent improvements and hence the demand of its upstream products increased from other sectors also. Rapid rise in demand and tampered supply led to rise in prices of its upstream Methanol. Upstream Methanol supply was hampered due to multiple plant shutdowns in US, which affected the supply of feedstock Formaldehyde and eventually affected the production of PENT across the region. Meanwhile, in Anyang, China, CRI (Carbon Recycling International) unveiled a new CO2 to methanol production facility. This plant will recycle 160,000 MT of CO2 per year, resulting in a boost in upstream Methanol supply across the country.
In the European market demand for PENT overed between mild to low during Q1 2021. Although the sectors like adhesives and cosmetics were showing improvement compared to prior quarter, as some countries started healing from second wave of COVID 19 across the region. Meanwhile, Equinor's main methanol production unit in Norway has resumed operations following a lengthy shutdown that began in December 2020 due to a major fire at the plant. This plant has a capacity of 900,000 MT/year and accounts for nearly 25% of Europe's overall Methanol supply. Its resumption will boost upstream Methanol supplies across the region and potentially stop price increases. Resumption in upstream methanol supply would improve the supply for feedstock Formaldehyde in the market in forthcoming quarter.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
China faced appreciable hike in prices of raw material Methanol due to shortage in its supply from Iran during November, that ultimately caused increase in prices of all the derivatives of Methanol including feedstock Formaldehyde. In India, the supply for feedstock formaldehyde kept short due to forced shutdown of several plants by Indian govt in North India during November. These shutdowns were implied after several plants were caught running without environmental approvals. The abrupt shortage for feedstock Formaldehyde across Southeast Asia directly impacted the prices of PENT in the region.
During Q4 2020, Europe also faced shortage of upstream Methanol which ultimately caused the shortage of its derivative products including Formaldehyde and Pentaerythritol. Besides, an astonishing fire accident took place at Equinor’s methanol production plant which shook the supply of upstream methanol across the region. The incident directly affected the market fundamentals of Pentaerythritol during Q4 2020 as well. Although the demand of PENT from the domestic market like paint, varnish and PVC was decent throughout the quarter, market players could not gain much due to limited availability of feedstock.
During November 2020, USA PENT market was severely hit by unplanned plant turnarounds in Gulf Coast, due to spate of hurricanes in the region. The production of many upstream products including Methanol remained low, that consequently lowered down the supply of downstream derivatives like feedstock formaldehyde. Since the demand of Pentaerythritol from the domestic market remained high due to steady economic revival from COVID 19 against the supply, a surge in prices for PENT was observed in the final quarter of 2020.