Fatty Acid - C18 Price Trend and Forecast

Regional Price Overview

Get the latest insights on price movement and trend analysis of Fatty acid C18 in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).

For the first half of 2022


The prices of fatty acid C18/ Stearic acid continued to rise during the first quarter. The rising demand from the downstream personal and home care market amid the constricted global supplies caused the prices trends to inflate drastically. The prices of stearic acid in China averaged 2070 USD/MT while in India it averaged 1720 USD/MT during the first quarter.

With the Indonesian governent banning the export of palm oil due to internal crisis and the lousy harvest in other south-asian exporting nations further aided the dramatic quotations of fatty acids during the second quarter.


The economic downturn unleashed by the Russia-Ukraine war triggred acute energy crisis in Europe giving rise to double-digit inflation. The makret prices of fatty acids soared massively owing to the solid demand from downstream sectors. The absence of imports from Asia coupled with high operating costs caused the price trends of fatty acid C18 to tip towards the higher end of scale.

North America

The limited supply of feedstock palm oil on the global market had a drastic impact that caused fatty acid C18 prices in North America to soar. The cost of fatty acid stearic acid triple pressed DEL USGC in the United States rose to USD 1896/MT in March as a result of increased demand from the downstream personal care, cosmetic, and detergent sectors. The prices began to drop slightly towards the end of secod quarter as the market sentiment subsided and manufacturers had adequate feed to satisfy the local market.

Fatty Acid C18 Price Trend (Q1 2022)

North America

Stearic acid prices in the United States are rising as a result of higher export prices from the two largest exporters of stearic acid and upstream palm oil (Malaysia and Indonesia). Because the US market has the largest consumer base for both the leather and personal care industries, demand from downstream industries such as personal care and leather is usually high.

Unlike its Asian counterparts, the United States does not rely solely on imports; it also produces its own stearic acid. It is primarily produced in the United States from tallow oil rather than palm oil. Tallow oil demand has also increased due to an increase in the production of electronic products and automated fabrication, which has resulted in an increase in stearic acid prices in the United States.

Furthermore, increased demand from the downstream personal care, cosmetics, and detergent industries pushed stearic acid triple pressed DEL USGC prices to 1896 USD/MT in March in the United States.

Fatty Acid (C18) Prices (Q4 2021)


Due to low palm oil output in Indonesia and Malaysia, the Asian fatty acid market has shown bullishness as a result of good palm oil feedstock performance in the world market. The trading offers in India remained firm due to logistical issues as well as inflationary pressure on fatty acid costs.

In China, poor feedstock supply and production constraints caused by the government's Dual Control Policy forced manufacturing units like Jiangsu Shengtai (80 KTPA capacity) and Deyuan Gaoke (100 KTPA capacity) to shut down for a while. During a large portion of the quarter, numerous production facilities ran short of mid-cut fatty alcohols, boosting the country's import desire.

With downstream buyers posing adequate requests for the product under the market optimism, demand from the detergent and personal care sectors showed challenges. Prices of fatty acids in India hovered around 3130 USD/MT Ex-Ahmedabad in December, while prices in China settled at 3440 USD/MT on a FOB basis.

Oleic acid costs surged significantly in the Asia Pacific area in the fourth quarter of 2021, owing to higher palm oil prices. From October to December, oleic acid prices in the Indian domestic market increased from 1801.72 to 1972.86 USD/MT CFR JNPT. Due to the current demand pattern in India in comparison to its supplies, the product's price stayed on the higher side.


In reaction to the unexpectedly high input costs, the European fatty acid market remained bullish in Q4-2021. The global shortage of palm oil feedstock, delivery delays, and astronomically high energy prices continued to put upward pressure on input costs. Spot trading activity were further hampered by port container shortages and movement restrictions implemented as a result of the rising number of Omicron cases in the region.

Germany, which was one of the most hit by the recurrence of Covid cases, had a significant increase in soap and detergent usage, which prompted a jump in downstream industry inquiries for Fatty Acid and boosted producers' confidence in delivering stable contract rates.

The downstream sectors' Fatty Acid supply dynamics were plagued by increased market constraints towards the end of the quarter, resulting in prices reaching their highest levels of the year in December, closing at 4080 USD/MT FOB. The personal care sector's demand also played a role in the rising pricing trends. Oleic Acid prices in the European region continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The rising costs of Oleic acid across the region have been mostly attributed to the increased Benchmark palm oil futures in quarter four. Due to the reduction in tax levies, agricommodity prices, such as crude palm oil, which is critical to Malaysian exports, have reached new highs.

Long-term supply constraints, workforce difficulties, port congestion, the rapid growth of Omicron, and high container freight prices have all contributed to the region's oleic acid market trend. Offtakes remained constant during Q4 in terms of demand.

North America

The prices of fatty acids reached their highest level in October, supported by rising palm oil feedstock prices in the international market and constrained supply due to vessel delays from Asian countries. In addition to the high input costs, manufacturers' despair was heightened in the first weeks of the quarter by the scarcity of trucks for delivering consignments to downstream businesses.

Meanwhile, demand fundamentals in the downstream personal care and detergents categories were expected to surpass supply. However, in the final months of the year, a modest drop in palm oil prices due to improved port movements and lower freight charges restricted fatty acid prices in the North American region.

Due to minimal downstream activity during the Christmas and New Year holidays, which resulted in a decrease in demand for fatty acid, bearishness increased in the final days of December, as seen by fatty acid prices falling to 1760 USD/MT DEL.

Fatty Acids (C18) Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)


In the Asian market, demand fundamentals fluctuated in a stable to firm range, with improvements in rubber, lubricants, and other automotive industries following the COVID 19 rebound. These sectors were not totally restored and were operating at a slower rate than the previous year, but the improvement was strong enough to affect pricing.

As a result, prices in the Indian market improved significantly and hovered at 930.6 USD/MT in mid-January 2021. However, Asia was having difficulty obtaining the raw ingredient palm oil, which was in short supply at the time.

In the third quarter of 2021, the Asian market saw a significant increase in the price of C18 in the Asia Pacific area. The market dynamics in India largely mirrored the Q2 picture, with domestic demand being stable and raw material costs in the country rising dramatically.

According to traders, demand from downstream tyre producers improved towards the end of Q3 as demand for tyres after the production of private vehicles has increased since July. As a result, the price of stearic acid rose, with Ex-Works bids in east India increasing from 801 to 1314 USD/MT from July to September.


Despite low demand from downstream segments, C18 prices were steadily rising in Europe. Accelerating raw material prices, along with a serious global shortage, drove this price increase. In addition, high-cost imports from Asia aided the price increase. However, demand from the downstream automotive market remained low, as the second wave of COVID 19 stifled proper industrial activities and lowered automobile sales across the area.

During the third quarter of 2021, the domestic market price of Stearic acid changed dramatically in the European region due to price fluctuations in palm oil. Several stearic acid companies raised their prices several times in Q3 as a result of the high price and limited supply of palm oil from Southeast Asia.

Offtakes from downstream firms remained stable in terms of demand. The pricing trend in the region was further influenced by rising freight expenses and increased shipping charges.

North America

During the first quarter of 2021, the North American market saw a steady rise in C18 pricing. Despite consistent demand from the downstream automotive and adhesive segments, prices increased significantly as a result of the material constraint.

After the US gulf storm in February, there was a serious scarcity of feedstock chemicals, which led to a halt in manufacturing. As a result, prices rose sharply by 9.17% in March, hovering about 1130 USD/MT in the United States.

This sharp surge was aided by expensive cargoes from Asian countries, as raw material costs were at an all-time high during this period. Despite crippled production, demand for Stearic acid remained strong across the North American area in Q3, as raw material availability and logistical issues loomed big over supply fundamentals.

In the third quarter, the availability of trucks became limited in the United States, where Hurricane Ida exacerbated the logistics problems. Concerns about tallow feedstock persisted in the US oleochemical business in Q3, while increased demand from renewable diesel has stretched the availability of tallow even further.

Throughout the quarter, intake volumes increased as the personal care goods industry continued to grow at a rapid pace. Stearic Acid triple pressed prices were estimated at 1680-1710 USD/MT on a DEL basis in early August.

Fatty Acids (C18) Prices Overview 2020


The Asian market for C18 remained strong, with nations such as China and India reportedly using their maximum capacity to make up for losses in H1 2020. Increased demand in India during the festive season in November also contributed to a significant increase in the value of the currency.

The prices rose dramatically as the price of feedstock palm oil rose consistently across Southeast Asia. With palm oil futures hitting an almost eight-year high in December and Indonesia increasing its oil export tax, the price of stearic acid was projected to stay constant to firm in H1 2021. For the quarter ending December 2020, the average price for rubber grade stearic acid in India was 853 USD/MT.


The acid maintained its strong market sentiments in Europe due to strong demand from the polymer and textile industries. Concerns over the feedstock's limited availability pushed its prices higher in the regional market, as the European Union looked to curb imports of palm oil as it contributed to greater deforestation activities.

Early in October, C18 market fundamentals remained tight as several end-use sectors continued to operate their plants at reduced rates due to fears of demand uncertainty. Plant utilisation rates, on the other hand, gradually improved as a result of the continued increasing trend in oil prices.

North America

C18 price in the United States began to rise later in the quarter as palm oil prices continued to rise. The supply of palm oil tightened towards the end of the quarter when the United States imposed a complete embargo on imports from several Malaysian companies, including Sime Darby Plantation Berhad and FGV Holdings, citing labour abuse claims. The price trend in the region was supported by rising Brent crude at least until Q1 2021.

Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Fatty Acid - C18. 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.

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Fatty Acid- C18 is a well-known saturated long-chain fatty acid with an 18-carbon backbone. Fatty Acid- C18 is found in different animal and plant fats and is a major component of cocoa butter and shea butter. In appearance, Fatty Acid- C18 is a white solid with a mild odour.

Product Details

Report Features Details
Product Name Fatty Acid - C18
Industrial Uses Adhesives and sealant chemicals, Adsorbents and absorbents, Agricultural chemicals (non-pesticidal), Anti-adhesive agents, Corrosion inhibitors and anti-scaling agents, Curing activator and polymer, Defoamer manufacture, Fillers, Finishing agents, Fuels and fuel additives, Ingredient in rubber compound, Intermediates, Lubricants and lubricant additives, Paint additives and coating additives , Pigments, Plasticisers, Plating agents and surface treating agents, Rubber component, Sizing agent used to impart hydrophobicity to paper product
Chemical Formula C18H36O2
Synonyms Stearic Acid, Octadecanoic Acid, Octadecanoic Acid, n-Octadecanoic acid
Molecular Weight 284.5 g/mol
Supplier Database Eastman Chemical Company, BASF SE, Oleon NV, Pacific Oleochemicals Sdn Bhd, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Longyan Zhuoyue New Energy Co. Ltd.
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

Note: Our supplier search experts can assist your procurement teams in compiling and validating a list of suppliers indicating they have products, services, and capabilities that meet your company's needs.

Production Processes

  • Production of Fatty Acid- C18 from Oil or Fat via Hydrolytic or Lipolytic Splitting

In general, the production process of Fatty Acid involves hydrolytic or lipolytic splitting (reaction with water using high pressure and temperature or enzymes) of any oil or fat to finally obtain Fatty Acid as the product.


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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