For the Quarter Ending June 2021
During the second quarter of 2021, supplies were further constrained as the operations in several facilities remained shunned amidst the limited availability of feedstock Maleic Acid. Demand was surged for the manufacturing of wine and other derivatives whereas offtakes remained consistent from the pharmaceutical sector, as a repercussion of tightness in the overall North American market. Prices of Tartaric Acid remained in up stride during the second quarter of 2021.
Feeble offtakes of upstream Maleic Anhydride from the downstream unsaturated polyether resins (UPR) industries, kept the feedstock inventories ample to meet the demand of Tartaric Acid in the Asia Pacific market. Supplies remained sufficient to cater the end use demand with significant level of the inventories of Malic Acid, however due to the rising inflation in the Chinese prices of Tartaric Acid, prices observed a marginal uptrend with Ex-Work Shanghai prices settling at USD 2280 per tonne and USD 2000 per tonne for L+ and DL grade in April. Whereas the enquiries from the Indian market were stable as the offtakes from the food additives and pharmaceutical sector remained consistent.
During the second quarter of 2021, supply in the European market of Tartaric Acid remained extremely short during the first half of the quarter due to limited availability of the key feedstock Malic Acid. It is anticipated that the supply tightness is likely to continue till next quarter as a major upstream producer declared turnaround in June. Demand bolstered from downstream food additives and pharmaceutical sector. As a ripple effect prices remains buoyed throughout the quarter in European market.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The Tartaric Acid market in the North American region was severely impacted during the first quarter of 2021 due to the supply shortages in the key feedstock plants which disrupted the downstream supply chains due to extreme weather conditions in the Texas and nearby Gulf region. The winter storm further forced the regional Tartaric Acid plants to shut down or reduced their production for a couple of weeks. Demand surge from the pharma sector on back of supply shortages raised the regional offers by a significant percentage.
During the first quarter of 2021, Tartaric Acid supplies were balanced due to low inventory levels in the first half of the quarter and turnaround at several regional upstream plants with the arrival of Chinese lunar New Year holidays; however, shortage eased by the end of the Q1 as plants restarted with efficient output. Demand surged in the first quarter owing to well supported demand from the downstream pharmaceutical sector. The shortage in supply drove the FOB Shanghai prices for April deliveries to USD 2030 per tonne for DL Tartaric Acid.
Supplies of the Tartaric Acid remained tight since the previous quarter with persistent supply crunch noted during the first quarter of 2021. Reduced imports of the key feedstock from overseas and production constraints amid the severe weather conditions in US disrupted the European Tartaric Acid supplies. Demand strengthened from the downstream pharmaceutical sector.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
The demand for Tartaric Acid saw a slight increment in Q4 as compared to Q3 of 2020 as the economic activities to revive and curb the losses during the peak virus period. China emerged as the largest exporter of Tartaric Acid whereas India which is continuously expanding its roots to expand the foothold in the pharmaceutical industry, turned out as the largest importer. Consequently, prices of Tartaric Acid remained in the range of USD 4000-4500 per MT FOB China in the final quarter. Furthermore, In November, demand for Tartaric Acid FROM India took another upward toll weighed by its increased demand from food and beverage industry during the festive season.
During the fourth quarter of 2020, Mexico emerged as the largest importer for Tartaric Acid in Europe owing to the consistent demand of Tartaric Acid from pharma, chemical industries as they are increasing its consumption due to its properties like less susceptible to microorganism during fermentation. The demand was the highest in October but as the fears of new Coronavirus strain emerged, Europe imposed lockdown by the start of November in several countries like France, Germany and Belgium thereby reporting a slump in the demand of Tartaric Acid. Thus, market sentiments for Tartaric Acid wandered yet again due to new mutant coronavirus which laid a downward pressure upon its prices as well.
Demand for Tartaric Acid was highest in the final quarter of 2020 due to the optimism that prevailed from the roll out of Coronavirus vaccine. There was an increase in demand in the month of November as compared to October amidst the revival in economy from the upward crawl in crude oil prices. The largest importer of Tartaric Acid in North America were New York and Los Angeles in which most of companies were based on pharma and chemicals indicating a high demand-flow from these sectors.