For the Quarter Ending December 2023
During the fourth quarter of 2023, the prices of Tallow Fatty Acid in the USA initially rose but later declined in December, primarily due to the destocking season. This pattern mirrored the movement in demand from the downstream Personal Care industries, which also experienced a similar fluctuation.
Manufacturing firms faced challenges in maintaining their operating rates amidst persistent inflationary pressures. Although demand from the downstream Personal Care industries fluctuated, it did not provide sustained support to the operating rates of these firms.
The destocking season in December led to a decrease in demand for Tallow Fatty Acid, as downstream industries reduced their inventory levels. This demand reduction contributed to the decline in prices observed during this period. In November, exports decreased as a result of weakened global demand, as reported by the US Commerce Department. Both domestic and international markets have slowed down, partly because central banks worldwide have implemented substantial interest rate increases since 2022 to address elevated inflation levels. However, the US Federal Reserve has opted to maintain its policy rate within the range of 5.25-5.50% and has indicated the conclusion of its significant monetary policy tightening.
The APAC region experienced a challenging quarter for Tallow Fatty Acid pricing in Q4 2023. The market was impacted by several significant factors. Firstly, the limited availability of finished goods puts pressure on manufacturers, leading to price adjustments. Secondly, the demand from downstream Personal Care industries remained low to moderate, resulting in average inquiries and small order sizes. In terms of plant shutdowns, no specific incidents were reported during this quarter. Among the APAC countries, China witnessed notable changes in Tallow Fatty Acid prices. The domestic market saw prices remaining on the higher end due to the limited availability of finished goods. However, the demand from downstream industries in China, particularly the Personal Care sector, remained subdued. This, combined with the destocking season, led to manufacturers focusing on clearing existing inventories rather than increasing production levels. The market sentiment was also affected by the decline in crude oil prices, which further decreased the manufacturing costs of Tallow Fatty Acid. The latest price for Tallow Fatty Acid FOB Shanghai in China at the end of the quarter was USD 1390/MT.
In Germany, the prices of Tallow Fatty Acid remained relatively low throughout the fourth quarter of 2023, with a further decrease observed in December, largely due to the traditional destocking season. This trend in pricing was reflected in the demand patterns from downstream Personal Care industries, which also experienced a decline during the same period. Manufacturing firms faced challenges in maintaining their operating rates amid persistent inflationary pressures. However, the reduction in natural gas prices contributed to a decrease in the manufacturing costs of Tallow Fatty Acid, providing some relief to producers. n addition, amid the downbeat outlook due to the underwhelming performance in recent quarters, many prominent domestic chemical plants have synchronized their scheduled maintenance shutdowns as the demand from the downstream industries has remained lackluster. In December, the inflow of inquiries from the downstream Personal care industries has remained weak. Consequently, the Tallow Fatty Acid market was subdued, with producers focused on meeting existing contractual obligations and limited overall activity. inflation rates in both the EU and the eurozone have consistently exceeded the European Central Bank's (ECB) medium-term target of 2%, pressuring the purchasing power of the end-use industries on a broader level.
For the Quarter Ending September 2023
Tallow fatty acid prices in North America experienced a generally upward trend during the third quarter of 2023. Prices started off relatively stable in July but gradually increased throughout the rest of the quarter. This upward trend was primarily driven by strong demand from various industries, including personal care, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Demand for tallow fatty acids remained robust across various industries, particularly personal care, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. The personal care industry, in particular, saw increased demand for tallow fatty acids due to the growing popularity of natural and organic products. The supply of tallow fatty acids remained relatively constrained due to factors such as reduced cattle slaughter and increased demand from the renewable diesel industry. This limited supply further supported prices.
Tallow fatty acid prices in Asia exhibited a mixed trend during the third quarter of 2023. Prices initially declined in the first half of the quarter due to weak demand from downstream industries, particularly the soap and detergent industry. However, prices rebounded in the second half of the quarter due to rising feedstock costs and supply chain disruptions. Demand for tallow fatty acids from the soap and detergent industry was subdued due to the effects of El Niño, which caused uneven rainfall patterns across South and East Asia. However, tallow fatty acid prices declined again towards the last couple of weeks of September. Thus, after the conclusion of Q3, Tallow Fatty Acid prices were assessed at USD 1400 per MT FOB Shanghai.
Tallow fatty acid prices in Europe experienced an upward trajectory during the third quarter of 2023, with prices increasing by approximately 10% from July to September. This upward trend was primarily driven by a combination of factors, including demand for tallow fatty acids, which remained strong across various industries, particularly in the personal care, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals sectors. The growing popularity of natural and organic products further fueled demand for tallow fatty acids in these industries. The supply of tallow fatty acids was relatively constrained due to factors such as reduced cattle slaughter and increased demand from the renewable diesel industry. This limited supply contributed to higher prices. Production costs for tallow fatty acids also increased during the quarter, driven by factors such as rising energy and labor costs. These increased costs were passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.