Get the latest insights on price movement and trend analysis of Acetic Acid in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).
Acetic Acid Price Trend for the H1 of 2023
In the Asia-Pacific market, acetic acid prices oscillated throughout the initial quarters of 2023. The trend followed an upward trajectory till mid-Q2 as the spot prices in China went from around 425 USD/MT in January to about 470 USD/MT in May’23. This rising trend was majorly due to stable demand and sufficient feedstock availability in the region. The high production rates from the downstream industries also supported this increasing trend. However, acetic acid prices failed to keep up this momentum, and the Chinese June spot prices fell to 430 USD/MT. The downstream demand from the EVA and allied markets suffered. Further, many plants shut down for maintenance purposes. This sudden change in the market dynamics negatively affected the price trends for acetic acid in the region.
In Europe, the prices of acetic acid escalated sharply due to the soaring prices of feedstock materials. The demand for acetic acid and its derived commodities also increased in the region, and in addition to this, the supply chain dynamics remained strong in H1’23. The economics of vinyl acetate monomer, acetic anhydride, and acetate market also improved, thereby driving the price trends of acetic acid in the market.
The North American region did not follow the steps of its European and Asian counterparts, as the acetic acid market remained weak in the region in 2023. The price trend suffered from the reduction in demand and stagnant behavior of end-user industries. The manufacturing activities took a toll as the US region witnessed banking crises. The situation was fueled by reduced offtakes and sluggish trends adopted by the acetate, vinyl acetate monomer, and other related industries.
According to Procurement Resource, acetic acid prices are expected to oscillate in the upcoming quarter. Given the current economic conditions, the markets cannot sustain these high prices for long and will eventually strive for equilibrium, given all the other market variables are constant/ stable.
Acetic Acid Price Trend for the H2 of 2022
The prices of acetic acid steadily declined throughout the third quarter. This decline was attributed to a number of factors which affected the pricing fundamentals in both the domestic as well as international market. The government-mandated shutdowns and production cuts in China affected the overall market dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region.
With a series of typhoons in South Korea and Japan; transportation and logistics were drastically affected. Hence, all these factors coupled with the weak demand caused the prices to fall averaging 473.21 USD/MT (Spot China) towards the end of September’22. The same downward price trend continued in the fourth quarter as the market fundamentals were still reeling under the stresses of economic backlash. The price of acetic acid finally settled at 421.48 USD/MT (Spot China) towards the end of December’22.
The price of acetic acid rose to astounding highs in the domestic European market. The economic and political backlash unleashed by the Russia-Ukraine conflict deeply impacted the trade of the entire European region. The high crude and gas prices caused the manufacturers to either cut their production or raise their quotations. Also, the heatwaves caused the water level to shrink in the Rhine River-Western Europe’s most important waterway thereby drastically acutely affecting the trade.
More than 80% of Germany’s water freight depends on it and shipping problems caused massive issues with the country’s economy which was already reeling under the stress of supply chain disruptions. The price of acetic acid averaged around 1419.23 USD/MT (CFR Italy) in September’22. The same trend continued through the fourth quarter, however, comparatively cheaper imports from the Asia-Pacific region aided the European market.
Owing to the strong speculations of a looming recession the US market suffered immensely. The demand dwindled causing the manufacturers to cut production. The firms initiated destocking to make room for new production. The price trends for acetic acid weakened throughout the third quarter as sufficient upstream cost pressure was not provided along with reduced offtakes. Even though the crude oil and gas prices stabilized in the fourth quarter the prices did not increase due to the sluggish demand.
Analyst Insight: The prices of acetic acid are likely to increase during the coming month given the strong market sentiments and increased demand from the paints and coatings industries.
For the Second Quarter of 2022
The average price of acetic acid is constantly fluctuating in the Asian market. The cost of acetic acid in the Chinese market went from 774 USD/MT (April) to 718 USD/MT towards the end of this quarter. This sharp decrease in the market was caused by the reduced export volumes and overflooding inventories.
Amidst the declining demand from the downstream sectors, many manufacturing units such as Yangtze INEOS and Celanese Nanjing restarted their production, causing excessive supply in the market. The sellers were forced to sell the product at a lower price to eliminate the stockpiles and make room for new developments in the next quarter.
The European picture was quite the opposite to its Asian counterpart. The price trends of acetic acid remained strong. Owing to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine confrontation, crude oil prices hit a new maximum, thereby increasing the energy costs in Europe.
Also, the supply chain disruptions because of shortages in the global supply of critical raw materials like methanol due to rising freight charges and transportation costs aided the prices to grow staggeringly high. Acetic acid price per ton averaged 1851 USD- 1975 USD as of June 2022.
Amid the already constricted supply and strong demand from the end-user industries, acetic acid prices rose consistently. Despite the overflowing volumes in the Chinese market, many manufacturers in China could not fulfil their contracts with their USA counterparts (force majeure), creating further shortages in the US market.
According to Procurement Resource, the price trends for acetic acid will likely register a downward trend in the upcoming months. With the easing up of supply chains and opening of ports, the upstream cost pressure will finally stabilize. Also, the dwindling market demand will cause the prices to crash, leading to stockpiling inventories.
For the First Quarter of 2022
Acetic acid prices were on the rise towards the end of March, rising from 4250 RMB/MT to 5220 RMB/MT. In a single day, the average market price in East China jumped by 2.82%.
The supply of the chemical in East China was restricted due to the overhaul of the chemical in Nanjing Acetyl and Shanghai Huayi, which raised the industry's attitude. In other sections of the country, quotations were raised, and downstream on-demand was rationally purchased. Rising demand for the product from Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) companies throughout the world was a major driver of market expansion. VAM utilises the vast bulk of the chemical generated across the world.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
In the fourth quarter, falling demand lowered the price of acetic acid in Asia. Due to weakening demand from downstream sectors and sufficient supplies, Chinese acetic acid prices fell cumulatively this quarter. Laxmi Organics, a leading Indian company, was seen importing large quantities of the chemical from Celanese PTE Ltd. to meet their acetyl derivatives demand.
In the near term, a drop in Chinese acetic acid prices is projected to keep downward pressure on both imported and local offers. The negative supply of the chemical in the global region, as a result of weak export activity in India, South Korea, and Belgium, had an impact on prices. The derivative prices, primarily ethyl acetate and butyl acetate, have also been stabilised. Acetic acid prices in China were 970 USD/MT FOB Qingdao in the last week of December, with prices ranging between 956 USD/MT and 977 USD/MT through the quarter.
With poor demand and ample supply in North America, the price trend has been steadily declining. However, when compared to the same year's Q2 and Q3, the prices were on the high side. Prices have risen because to limited supplies and concerns about the omicron Covid-19 version. Although US production of the chemical gradually resumed, accessible amounts for export to Europe remained limited. This was due to poor production rates caused by difficulty obtaining raw materials such as methanol, as well as regular maintenance. Acetic acid prices in the US market were 1450 USD/MT FOB Texas and 1476 USD/MT FOB Louisiana.
This pricing trend was noticed as demand recovered in the domestic market of the United States. Upstream methanol production on the Gulf Coast of the United States ran at a high level of efficiency, as supply improved in response to recovering acetic acid demand. Major market participants carefully managed their plants in accordance with market demand. Demand for downstream ethyl acetate and butyl acetate was modest at the start of the new year, with demand falling seasonally.
Acetic acid prices in Europe spiked in October and November before beginning to fall in December. In October and November, Germany's rates were 1805 USD/MT DDP Hamburg and 1845 USD/MT DDP Hamburg, respectively. Acetic acid prices increased to multi-month and multi-year highs across Europe as a result of a global supply shortage. The situation was made even more challenging by long transportation periods and restricted freight capacity.
The supply chain was at risk, with reduced container availability and rising freight costs. In December, low demand and enough supply caused the price to fall to 1824 USD/MT DDP Hamburg. During this time, the price of feedstock methanol and coal fluctuated, affecting the price of the chemical. Consumer demand for downstream derivatives such as ethyl acetate and butyl acetate was poor, and consumers began to purchase on a need-to basis. New orders were restricted, according to market participants, and inventory levels were high.
At the end of the year 2021, the price was recorded at 470 USD/MT in Mexico due to a healthy demand from end-use segments.
For the First, Second, and Third Quarters of 2021
Throughout the quarter, the supply of the chemical improved, but stayed balanced, as several key plants in China restarted after a turnaround since late December. The demand in the APAC area was driven by steady consumption from downstream sectors. Increased prices in the Asian market were caused by increased demand and the lack of supply. Prices in India also continued to rise, with an average of 982 USD/MT on CFR JNPT basis. Due to the rise in the price of the feedstock methanol, the Asia Pacific market saw an exponential growth in its prices in the third quarter of 2021.
Furthermore, in China, the shutdown of the Ningbo-Zhoushan port for nearly two weeks in August, as well as congestion at the country's other ports, caused a disruption in the supply chain, affecting the chemical's availability in the region. Furthermore, in July, the plants in Guangxi and Anhui Huayi were shut down for around 3-4 weeks for maintenance, adding to market tightness.
Due to a container shortage in India, high freight charges contributed to the quarter's rising price trend. Acetic acid prices increased by 211.29 USD/MT in September, bringing them to 1371.91 USD/MT for the first time since July. Due to China's zero-tolerance coronavirus policy, prices in the country were variable. In September, the monthly average price FOB Qingdao was 1110 USD/MT, up 25 USD/MT from August's price.
During the first quarter of 2021, regional supplies were tight due to the limited availability of feedstock and rising methanol costs. Due to adverse weather conditions in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, Celanese declared force majeure in mid-February and postponed the expansion of its new acetic acid facility due to unfavourable market conditions.
In mid-February, CFR New York acetic acid prices were around 930 USD/MT, while FOB Texas settlements were rangebound between 775-780 USD/MT due to persistently tight supply. However, demand remained buoyant as major economies across the world normalised, owing to a robust increase in downstream VAM consumption as well as for delivering anticipated export orders. After Hurricane Ida interrupted many manufacturing sites in August, acetic acid supply remained limited throughout North America.
Due to severe climate crises, the industrial infrastructure in the US Gulf region remained closed, resulting in a demand-supply imbalance. During Q3, demand for the chemical and downstream goods was considered modest in both the domestic and international markets. In addition, leakage at LyondellBasell's Texas plant in July, as well as concerns about delta variant spread, weighed on market sentiments.
Increases in raw material prices continued to have an impact on acetic acid pricing all across the world. FOB U.S.A. acetic acid prices soared to 430 USD/MT in September, demonstrating a persistent increase since July, owing to a constant supply shortfall. The demand was increased by steady consumption from downstream VAM and acetic anhydride segments, which raised regional offerings at the time.
Supplies in the European region were tight in the first quarter of 2021, as imports from the United States were limited owing to plant disruptions, followed by sharply rising costs in the region. Although, the increased demand from downstream acetate sectors boosted overall demand. Due to intense rivalry in the local market, dealers in northwest Europe were keen to get additional volumes, resulting in acetic acid price increase across Europe. Due to the shutdown of LyondellBasell's La Porte facility, one of the world's largest suppliers of acetic acid, the supply in the European region constricted in the third quarter of 2021.
LyondellBasell's factory was one of the most important exporters of acetic acid and VAM, hence its closure had an influence not just on the European market but also on the global market for the chemical. Furthermore, the Meishan terminal at Ningbo port was overburdened, resulting in a raw material shortage in Europe. Raw material price increases, combined with increased demand for downstream products, continued to cause ripples in the region's acetic acid pricing. In the fourth quarter, DDP-Germany increased monthly average pricing by 110 USD/MT.
In 2021, the price remained relatively stable at 470 USD/MT Mexico, as a result of a healthy demand from the construction sector and the growth in the textile sector.
For the Year 2020
As several plants resumed operations and ramped up production following protracted delays in several regions of Southeast Asia, the Asian market grabbed the lead in the third quarter due to robust demand from the downstream industries. In Q3 2020, Chinese acetic acid operating rates improved significantly, staying around 80-82%, compared to the low 60s in the previous quarter. Increased activity in the Indian market, which reported robust performance from acetyl intermediates and downstream Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM), offered further support to Acetic Acid futures, which headed towards recovery.
As players reported a jump in demand from downstream VAM makers, all main Middle Eastern Acetic Acid production sites were running at improved rates. When compared to the previous quarter, prices increased dramatically, but customers appeared to be able to withstand the claimed increase. The price in China overall increased during 2020 from 366 USD/MT in January to 714 USD/MT in December.
Due to negative sentiments in the United States and Canada, the North American market for the chemical remained under pressure in the third quarter. The second quarter saw a significant drop in quarterly numbers for major Acetic Acid producers in the region, owing to a weakened acrylic acetyl chain segment, which fell by double digits year over year due to a persistent decline in industry pricing due to a down market for raw materials. The price recorded a small change from January to December, from 441 USD to 475 USD/MT.
The European market recorded a very stable market during 2020 as prices remained constant at 618 USD/MT in the UK and 489 USD/MT in Germany. The overall market reported growth due to healthy demand in end-use sectors and imports.
In the region of Latin America, the price decreased slightly from January, where it was recorded at 480 USD/MT, to 470 USD/MT in December. But the demand saw a moderate increase in the industrial sectors such as construction, textiles, and others. People's high incomes and industrialization increased demand for ethanoic acid in the construction industry. Application in the production of VAM has also increased healthy demand.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Acetic Acid. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.
Acetic Acid is known to be a colourless liquid organic compound with a pungent smell. When undiluted, it is often coined as glacial acetic acid. Vinegar is no less than 4% acetic acid in volume, thus, making acetic acid the primary element of vinegar apart from water. It has a distinctive sour taste and it contains a methyl group linked to a carboxyl group. It is primarily manufactured as a precursor to PVA (polyvinyl acetate), household vinegar, and cellulose acetate.
|Product Name||Acetic Acid|
|Industrial Uses||Intermediates, Acetic Anhydride, Ester, Vinyl Acetate Monomer, Vinegar, Polymeric materials|
|Molecular Weight||60.05 g/mol|
|Synonyms||Ethanoic acid, 64-19-7, Ethylic Acid, Acetic Acid, Glacial|
|Supplier Database||LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., British Petroleum Plc, Celanese Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Jiangsu SOPO (Group) Co., Ltd, Yankuang Group|
|Region/Countries Covered||Asia Pacific: China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, UAE, Israel, Hongkong, Singapore, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Australia, and New Zealand
Europe: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Ireland Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece
North America: United States and Canada
Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru
Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco
|Currency||US$ (Data can also be provided in local currency)|
|Supplier Database Availability||Yes|
|Customization Scope||The report can be customized as per the requirements of the customer|
|Post-Sale Analyst Support||360-degree analyst support after report delivery|
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While producing Acetic Acid from methanol, the process of carbonylation is carried out. Carbon monoxide is utilised as a source of carbonylation and the reaction is carried out in the presence of a catalyst along with water, producing Acetic Acid.
The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).
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