Acetylene Prices (Q4 2021)
Many businesses focused on specific carbon that had a high added value and performance. Furthermore, the sunrise industries' demand for lithium-ion batteries was expanding, resulting in increased product demand. The majority of manufacturers were expanding their product lines and producing new versions of their existing products. The Asia calcium carbide market fell in the fourth quarter of 2021 after reaching a new high. Against the solid demand from the downstream PVC manufacturing sector, high charges and restricted availability of freight vessels in the region imposed disproportionate cost support in the exported volumes. The Chinese authorities' persistent attempts to reduce electricity rationing enhanced the operational loads in the Chinese domestic market. The offers for calcium carbide were settled at 978 USD/MT during the fourth quarter, as a result of the ripple effect. In 2021, China dominated the market in Asia Pacific, thanks to the increased infrastructure and electronics investment, which boosted acetylene black market revenue.
The demand for acetylene black was driven by an increase in tyre demand in the replacement market around the world. The industry was consolidated, with a few major players controlling a large portion of the worldwide market; as a result, product producers' primary strategy was to develop new items. Throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, the European market for calcium carbide remained positive. This shift in market sentiment was related to Europe's prolonged energy crisis, which resulted in lower production rates at manufacturing plants. As a result, international prices for mining metals and chemicals were reduced. Due to the increased demand from the downstream industry, calcium carbide prices remained buoyant during the fourth quarter of 2021.
Due to expanded metalworking applications across North America, the metal fabrication industry dominated the global acetylene market. Despite an improvement in the supply-demand imbalance, market sentiment for the raw material, calcium carbide, in the North American region remained depressed throughout the fourth quarter of 2021. This improvement was linked to improved post-hurricane season output rates at manufacturing plants in the United States. The LME and worldwide markets for mining metals and chemicals, on the other hand, saw large drops. As a result, the offers were constantly dropped, and FOB Midwest (USA) negotiations for calcium carbide powder fell by 7.37% during the quarter, with prices finalised at 1130 USD/MT in December.
Acetylene non-tyre specialist applications boosted black market expansion. In 2021, the demand for rubber goods was boosted by rapid urbanisation and industrialization in Asia Pacific and South America.
Acetylene Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)
During the first quarter of 2021, demand in the Asian market was mild to firm from downstream metal fabrication and BDO manufacturing industries. The overall output of China was temporarily lowered due to Chinese lunar holidays. Several dealers, on the other hand, had already maintained their supplies high in anticipation of the impending shortage. Despite the buildup of advance stocks, prices in the Asian market surged sharply in February.
In line with this, the Indian market saw a 5.22% increase in dissolved acetylene prices from January to March, with prices settling at 4265.2 USD/MT in March 2021. Because of the increased demand from downstream sectors, prices rose significantly in the third quarter of 2021 across the Asia Pacific area. Limited mining activity in China, combined with government controls to preserve energy, continued to limit raw material calcium carbide exports to a number of countries.
Because calcium carbide is primarily imported in India, downstream acetylene costs rose dramatically in the first half of the year. The issue of power curtailment in the Northern region with the goal of reducing carbon development resulted in a steady increase in calcium carbide pricing in the Chinese domestic market. The increased prices of calcium carbide prompted downstream acetylene manufacturers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.
Europe, like other places, had a serious scarcity of acetylene, which is used to make downstream chemicals like BDO and THF. Decreasing imports from the United States contributed to the shortage, since their own regional supply was running low due to lower domestic output. As a result, the prices began to rise. Furthermore, rising shipping container and freight costs effectively pushed up the prices across the region. In Q3, the European market saw a significant increase in demand for acetylene gas from the industrial gases category, but it struggled to import enough gas to close the gap. In July, prices increased by a factor of ten. The market trend for the rest of 2021 was dominated by rising feedstock carbide prices and robust demand from the building sector. Larger price rises for construction and auto repair helped maintain its demand.
Acetylene manufacturing in North America is typically reliant on the availability of LNG throughout the region. Approximately 7.4% of the total LNG output was affected as a result of the terrible winter storm, resulting in a critical shortage in the region. Meanwhile, downstream BDO (Butanediol) demand remained strong, driving up the prices during the quarter. Major regional players also raised their rates for acetylene cylinders, contributing to the total increase in export prices. Despite the uncertainty created by the second wave in Q2, the market in North America remained stable, with significant demand for acetylene from a variety of end-use sectors. Following the industrial rebound caused by the winter storm, there was an increase in the chemical’s pricing in Q3, as several downstream manufacturers increased their production. During the third quarter, downstream acetylene makers increased their demand for calcium carbide in the North American market.
Acetylene Prices Overview
Although Asian acetylene sales improved from Q2 to Q3, they remained below the pre-COVID levels. Higher margins due to a shortage of raw materials somewhat compensated for the producer's margin drop. Construction activity recovered from deep reductions in the previous quarter, resulting in resilient demand for oxyacetylene cylinders. Major plant turnarounds heard at several Chinese acetylene-based PVC factories, on the other hand, put strain on demand patterns, resulting in limited offtakes and muted offers across the area.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on the European acetylene demand in Q2 and Q3, with a significant drop in in-person trading. Limited requirements were heard for metal cutting and construction projects while the majority of the people stayed at home due to the pandemic-induced slump. Western Europe, where the lockdown had been lengthier and more severe than in Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe, saw a significant reduction in demand. However, demand for oxyacetylene from civil infrastructure remained strong in eastern Europe. As the largest producers declared maintenance turnarounds by the end of the third quarter to balance their stockpiles, certain supply limitations emerged.
During the third quarter of 2020, the demand in the Americas remained subdued. The production disruptions induced by Hurricane Laura continued to hamper operations at BASF's petrochemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana, which had a minor impact on overall profits. The company's Geismar Acetylene plant had an annual production capacity of 130 MT. The industrial gas sector in the United States had a mixed quarter-on-quarter performance, owing to a gradual shift in demand for medicinal gases including oxygen and carbon dioxide. Demand for dissolved acetylene and other industrial gases, on the other hand, remained muted due to lower welding hardgoods sales.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Acetylene. 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 Acetylene for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
Acetylene, also known as ethyne, is the simplest and most well-known member of the hydrocarbon series composed of one or more pairs of carbon atoms joined by triple bonds. This series is referred to as the acetylenic series, or alkynes. It is a colourless, flammable gas that is widely utilised as a fuel in oxyacetylene welding and metal cutting processes, as well as a raw ingredient in the synthesis of a wide variety of organic compounds and plastics.
Acetylene is produced by partial combustion, electric arc, or high temperature regeneration processes from gaseous hydrocarbons like methane or liquid hydrocarbons (e.g., petroleum products). After that, acetylene is removed from the resulting gas mixture.
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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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