Acetic Acid Prices (Q1 2022)
The price of acetic acid was 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 acetic acid generated across the world.
Acetic Acid (Q4 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 acetic acid 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 acetic acid supply in the global region, as a result of weak export activity in India, South Korea, and Belgium, had an impact on prices. Acetic acid 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 acetic acid production 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 acetic acid 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 acetic acid. 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 Mexico due to a healthy demand from end-use segments.
Acetic Acid Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)
Throughout the quarter, the supply of acetic acid improved, but stayed balanced, as several key plants in China restarted after a turnaround since late December. The demand for acetic acid 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 for acetic acid 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 acetic acid availability in the region. Furthermore, in July, the acetic acid 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 of acetic acid FOB Qingdao was 1110 USD/MT, up 25 USD/MT from August's price.
During the first quarter of 2021, regional acetic acid 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 acetic acid and downstream goods was considered modest in both the domestic and international markets. In addition, acetic acid 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 for acetic acid was increased by steady consumption from downstream VAM and acetic anhydride segments, which raised regional offerings at the time.
Acetic Acid 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 for acetic acid 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 an increase in acetic acid prices 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 acetic acid. 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 of acetic acid 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.
Acetic Acid Prices Overview 2020
As several plants resumed operations and ramped up production following protracted delays in several regions of Southeast Asia, the Asian Acetic Acid 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, offered further support to Acetic Acid futures, which headed towards recovery (VAM).
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 of acetic acid 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 Acetic Acid market 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 of acetic acid 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.
Procurement Resource provides prices of Acetic Acid for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
About Acetic Acid:
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.
Chemical Formula of Acetic Acid:
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.
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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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