Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) Price Trend and Forecast

LAB Regional Price Overview

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

 

Linear Alkyl Benzene Price Trend for the Q1 of 2024

Product Category Region Price Time Period
Linear Alkyl Benzene Chemicals USA USD 2000/MT March 2024
Linear Alkyl Benzene Chemicals Europe USD 1600/MT March 2024


Stay updated with the latest Linear Alkyl Benzene prices, historical data, and tailored regional analysis
 

Asia

In India, LAB prices rose during the first quarter of 2024, driven by a concurrent surge in the price of feedstock benzene, directly influencing production costs. Despite moderate demand from the domestic surfactant sector, the supply remained stable, which equalized the balance of supply and demand sectors of the market. In the mid of the quarter, global ocean freight rates showed a slight downward trend due to decreased demand during the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, but ongoing challenges in the Red Sea restrained the drop.
 

Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) Price Chart

Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) Price Trends

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Additionally, the Chinese Lunar New Year impacted domestic demand, resulting in a lack of new queries for linear alkyl benzene. Despite stability, specific sectors, such as real estate and new energy vehicles, influenced fluctuations in linear alkyl benzene pricing. Additionally, the economic indicators, such as China's producer and consumer prices, further influenced linear alkyl benzene pricing dynamics.

Europe

Linear alkyl benzene prices in the European market remained stable after a significant increase due to rising demand from industries using styrene, phenol, and solvents, along with increased production costs in the initial phase of the first quarter. In view of improving fundamentals of the market, manufacturers maintained higher prices to balance supply and demand. However, in the first phase of the quarter, production and new orders decreased, leading to slight destabilization in the market. But as the quarter progressed, the strikes at German ports and loss of shipments to Houthi attacks, contracted the supply chains.

The tightening supply situation in Europe therefore limited the influx of linear alkyl benzene and supported the uptrend in its prices. Also, as naphtha prices increased in Europe due to EU sanctions against Russian oil products, linear alkyl benzene prices along with its production cost soared in the later phases of the quarter.

North America

During the first quarter of 2024, the US market witnessed a surge in linear alkyl benzene prices due to limited influx of overseas imports and heightened demand from aromatics and other petrochemical-producing sectors. The petrochemical production in the US surged, raising concerns about the availability of raw materials and their derivatives and increasing operating costs for manufacturers.

Linear alkyl benzene prices thus remained firm under this imbalance of supply and demand. This increase was further driven by the need to restock inventory before and after the Lunar New Year in the Asian market, coupled with planned maintenance shutdowns by major producers like Royal Dutch Shell, BASF Total Petrochemical, and LyondellBasell Industries Holding B.V.

The ongoing Red Sea crisis affecting naphtha and linear alkyl benzene exports and as transit times via the Cape of Good Hope extended, capacity constraints on the China-US trade route persisted throughout the quarter, supporting steady LAB prices in the international market. Despite challenges in the chemical industry, strong consumer spending indicated a recovery in the economic fundamentals of the market.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend of Linear Alkyl Benzene is estimated to be driven by the rising interest of the downstream industries in the linear alkyl benzene sector and expansion of consumer spending budget.
 

Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) Price Trend for the October - December of 2023

Asia

The Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) price trend took turns as dictated by its feedstock benzene. In the fourth quarter, the traders expected to reap the benefits of the last quarter’s industrial progress, but the peak of the market was limited to the third quarter only. The steep fall in the cost of benzene and shifting sentiments of the consumers pushed the Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) prices in a downward spiral.

The sudden crunch in the prices came from the detergent sector as the key domestic players announced cuts in the costs of soap and detergents to keep up with the rising competition. In India, as the quarter approached its end, there was a subtle incline in the demand from the urban sector, but the rate of procurement from the rural sector remained subdued.

Europe

In European countries, the rise in the Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) prices in the last month of the third quarter was not translated in the fourth. The downfall of the sector was based on the muted demand from the downstream surfactant industries and the dipping cost of benzene. The market also registered a remarkable appreciation in its cost of energy production, which was viewed to be beneficial for the market, but soon, due to a decline in demand, caused fluctuations in the manufacturing sector.

North America

The slow-paced recovery of the US economy and low interest of the consumer sector proved fatal for the Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) price trend in the fourth quarter of 2023, and as a result, the prices took a downward turn. The government induced some strict financial norms in order to save the industrial sector from impending inflation and to keep the macroeconomic factors in check, which did not prove to be in favor of the Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) prices.

Additionally, the loss of export volumes due to drought in the Panama Canal and congestion at the ports of the Suez Canal eventually shot up the inventory levels and decreased the Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) price quotations.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend of Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) are expected to move cautiously as the outlook of surfactant industries and the cost of feedstock benzene do not seem to exert a positive influence.
 

Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) Price Trend for the July - September of 2023

Asia

In the Asian Linear Alkyl Benzene market, the price pattern fluctuated within a narrow range during the third quarter of the year 2023. The overall market inclination was positive throughout the Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) price graph. Several factors contributed to this desirable market run.

The feedstock ethylene prices provided high upstream cost support. The downstream demands from the surfactant industries also rose steadily for the entire period of Q3’23. Along with the end-user demands, the market activities around Linear Alkyl Benzene were thawing up in general. Overall, a moderate market performance was observed for Linear Alkyl Benzene for the three months during Q3’23.

Europe

The European Linear Alkyl Benzene market worked in close association with its Asian counterpart as the price trend saw an abiding rise here as well. An elevated downstream demand from the cleaning and surfactant industries remained the primary market driver.

The crude oil prices in the region, too, showed upward movements during this time, further pushing the Linear Alkyl Benzene prices. Another major participant in this astounding market performance was the cost support coming from feedstock ethylene and kerosene.

Both ethylene and kerosene were on the higher side of their price curves and helped Linear Alkyl Benzene to register higher numbers at its price index. Overall, positive market sentiments were observed in the European Linear Alkyl Benzene market during the said period.

North America

The North American Linear Alkyl Benzene market could not behave any differently than the Asian and European markets. Driven by the consistent market offtakes, the Linear Alkyl Benzene price graph remained inclined in the American market as well. Overall, a healthy supply and demand dynamic was observed for the entire period.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the Linear Alkyl Benzene market is likely to continue behaving in a similar fluctuating manner going forward as well. The price projections suggest stability in the coming months.
 

Linear Alkyl Benzene Price Trend for the First Half of 2023

Asia

Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) prices had a mixed run in H1 2023 for the Asian market. The prices incline in the Chinese market is attributed to a rise in demand from the downstream surfactant industry. A hike in feedstock ethylene and benzene prices also aided this inclining trajectory. In the Indian domestic market, the LAB prices fell consistently in the first quarter.

A fall of around 16% was recorded in the January and March values. This downward trend was owing to the feeble demand from the industries negatively affecting the pricing fundamentals. However, the prices inclined during the second quarter owing to the measures undertaken by the manufacturers to support the positive movement of the products.

Europe

The LAB prices in the European market kept on the lower side of the scale during the first half of 2023. After attaining an unprecedented high last year, the prices are normalizing as supply chain disruptions and energy availability have been managed. The contracted purchasing capacities of the consumer, given the rising inflation coupled with the availability of cheaper imports from China, affected the price trend for LAB negatively.

North America

Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) prices showed a mixed price trend in H1 2023 in the American market. The first quarter had a slow start, but the prices showed a positive inclination with increased demands and a rise in feedstock benzene prices. The rising demand from the downstream surfactant and home-care industries provided the necessary positive momentum required in the US market, thereby stabilizing the overall market dynamics.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend for Linear Alkyl Benzene are expected to remain volatile with regional imbalances in the coming quarter. The positive demand dynamics amid rising feedstock prices will likely drive the market trend.
 

Linear Alkyl Benzene Price Trend for the Second Half of 2022

Asia

The price trend for Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) remained on a lower trajectory for most of the second half of 2022. Consistent high prices in the H1’22 led to demand disruptions, which could readily be seen in global markets. The dwindling demand from the downstream surfactant and home-care industries amid over-saturated inventories caused the prices to decline. The covid dictated shutdowns/ restrictions further affected the market equilibria. The market saw short-lived fluctuations due to regional disbalances; however, the overall price trend kept stagnant.

Europe

Given the falling prices of feedstock benzene, the necessary upstream cost pressure was not provided to the LAB market. Further, the falling demands from the end-user industries worsened the pricing fundamentals. High rates of inflation coupled with contracting purchasing power caused the manufacturers to lower their quotations to remain competitive. Hence, LAB prices remained low-swinging in the second half of 2022.

North America

The over-saturated US domestic market could not sustain the high prices for linear alkyl benzene given the feeble demands and falling upstream costs. The lower-than-average demand from the detergent and home-care industries dictated the price trend for inear alkyl benzene. The market lacked the necessary enthusiasm and kept lackluster during the second half of 2022.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend for linear alkyl benzene (LAB) are expected to oscillate in the coming quarter. As the trade normalizes, the market equilibria will entirely depend on the influx of new demand and healthy product movement.
 

Linear Alkyl Benzene Price Trend For the First Half of 2022

Asia

Since the Asian countries were unable to meet their demand for upstream crude oil during Q2 of 2022, there was a short supply of upstream benzene, which led to a bullish start for the linear alkyl benzene (LAB) market in Asia. Due to China's continued suspension of manufacturing due to the winter Olympics, prices increased once more in March. At the end of the first quarter of 2022, the cost of LAB on the Indian market was 2848 USD/MT.

Throughout the second quarter of 2022, the price of linear alkyl benzene (LAB) increased steadily in the Indian market. The price increase was mostly driven by the strong demand for detergents and laundry detergents from consumers and households.

Due to covid rules that reduced the demand for the goods on the domestic market, the price trend of linear alkyl benzene (LAB) fell in China during the month of MAY. Due to a rise in the demand for surfactants from industries, price trend for linear alkyl benzene began to change the next month.

Europe

Contrary to price trend in other markets, the price of linear alkyl benzene in the European market remained steady throughout the first quarter of 2022 with very little price variation.

During the midst of the second quarter of 2022, prices for linear alkyl benzene (LAB) significantly increased in the European market. The energy crisis on the continent, which increased the cost of producing the goods and transporting them, was a major factor in the price increase.

The price increase of linear alkyl benzene (LAB) was aided by the growing cost of upstream benzene as a result of the high cost of feedstock on the continent as a result of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. However, by the end of Q2, LAB prices in domestic markets were artificially lowered because there were no offtakes due to the high cost.

North America

In the first quarter of 2022, linear alkyl benzene prices climbed on the American market. Mid-February saw a rise in prices due to rising feedstock (crude oil) costs brought on by the developing geopolitical unrest in the eastern European region. The price of linear alkyl benzene in the US at the end of the first quarter of 2022 was roughly 2080 USD/MT.

Throughout the second quarter of 2022, the cost of linear alkyl benzene (LAB) in the American market increased gradually. The end of the second quarter has traditionally been the time for annual maintenance at chemical refineries and related sectors. The rising price trend of LAB in the US during Q2 2022 was aided by the high cost of upstream benzene on the domestic market.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, linear alkyl benzene prices are expected to fall in the coming quarter, given the muted market transactions and the falling feedstock benzene prices. The cautious wait-and-see attitude of consumers will cause stockpiling of products in the market, further crashing the prices.
 

LAB Price Trend For the Fourth Quarter of 2021

Asia

Crude oil supplies had depleted by November 2021, as benzene feedstock supplies increased. The LAB market in Asia, therefore witnessed a slight drop in prices in November. However, the detergent and cleaning industry once again started to actively restock their inventories to cater to consumer requirements which led to an increase in LAB prices once again in December 2021 from 1718 USD/MT to 1908 USD/MT.

Europe

Crude oil prices demonstrated a high volatility and an increased demand in the downstream industries allowed the prices to remain most unchanged in Europe for most part of the final quarter. Feedstock availability had improved but in December the price in Germany had reached 2430 USD/MT, after a substantial fall in the prices in October and November due to the increased LAB demands in the market owing to the elevated consumption in cleaning and detergent products in the region as coronavirus started to spread yet again.

North America

In North America, the market was bullish with steadily increasing prices during October and till mid-November. The low benzene supplies and surging prices of crude oil drove the LAB prices up. The production was low in the US, as the country recovered from the damages caused by the Ida hurricane.

Spot activity was crippled and all these reasons together were a cause of concern among suppliers. In December, prices came down a bit, as raw material supply boosted and ports were unclogged, enabling offtakes in international downstream channels. LAB prices in December 2021 in Louisiana were 1840 USD/MT. The domestic demand for the personal care and household cleaning sector also stabilized in the meantime.
 

LAB Price Trend For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021

Asia

In the first quarter of 2021, the LAB market in Asia witnessed a mixture of sentiments, as demand continued to remain strong from downstream products like detergents and varied from country to country in the region. Crude oil prices were high while benzene availability was low, which supported the rise in its prices in the quarter. In India, LAB prices reached from 1383 USD/MT in January 2021 to 1467.5 USD/MT in March 2021 even though demands were stable.

In quarter 2 of 2021, Asia witnessed a strong market demand backed by adequate offtakes from the surfactant sector. In India too, a similar trend followed as the second wave of corona swept across the nation and demand increased from detergent producers.

Towards the end of the second quarter, LAB prices in India were 1952 USD/MT. IOCl and the Gujarat Government had signed an MoU to provide infrastructural facilities which would include tank truck loading for LAB. This was a just a small part of an immense investment to boost the transportation and production of various crucial commodities.

The market observed an upward trajectory in the third quarter of 2021. In India, crude oil prices went up and demand for downstream LABSA increased, which impacted the LAB prices in the region. The imports were not sufficient to keep up the rising demand, which also caused the prices to shoot up, as the festive season was just around the corner. linear alkyl benzene (LAB) prices in India went from 1967 USD/MT to 2154 USD/MT in the third quarter.

Europe

In Europe, the market fundamentals for LAB differed largely from those in North America and Asia, as benzene prices followed a downward trend due to ample supplies and weak demand in the first quarter of 2021. The downstream industries had been impacted by the second wave of the coronavirus which caused the LAB demand for downstream segments to remain low. The high freight costs and shortage of shipping containers, however, stabilized the export prices. Demand outlook was mostly stable in Europe during the second quarter, amidst rising demands in both domestic and international markets.

The production costs also increased, which was a major concern that led to a price hike of commodities. Cepsa, a chemical giant in Spain, revamped the manufacturing process of LAB to ensure environmental safety.

This process is projected to reduce the wastes and water consumption. In Europe, the market outlook received mixed sentiments from the local market in the third quarter of 2021. The upstream benzene supply was limited which affected the market fundamentals of LAB. The demand from the surfactants industry was somewhat low, due to less operations in downstream plants in the third quarter.

North America

In the US Gulf coast, the production activities were devastated, which halted the overall LAB output in the first quarter of 2021 in the region. Freezing weather conditions had exposed several major refineries such as Shell, Total, Exxon Mobil, etc. to unprecedented turnarounds which reduced the supplies of most of the major upstream chemicals including feedstock benzene.

The US had faced a shortage of benzene supply which in turn impacted the prices of the downstream products such as LAB. Close to 74% of benzene output was put to a stop in the first quarter of 2021, which caused the LAB prices to shoot up.

Despite the price volatility of feedstock benzene, the prices had increased appreciably in the second quarter of 2021 in the US. The demand remained strong to support the price rise. In the meantime, the supply was also tight due to low levels of inventory in the region.

Additionally, the demand from downstream segment such as detergent and Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulphonic Acid (LABSA) was high which also contributed to the upward price trend in the second quarter of 2021. Freight costs were skyrocketing in the prime trade routes, transportation activities became unstable and the global market for LAB stayed firm amidst rising tensions among suppliers.

In quarter 3 of 2021, linear alkyl benzene (LAB) prices increased significantly in the US due to consistent demands from the detergent and other derivatives industry. In the meantime, benzene supply was limited which increased the raw material costs and added on to the constraints. Transportation difficulties and increased freight costs were also major reasons for the price rise in the region.
 

LAB Price Trend For the Year 2020

Asia

In 2020, the market in Asia was mostly staggering. There was little to no change in its demand fundamentals, but the traders had prompted negotiations to instigate better offtakes which somewhat shrouded the due contract prices. Demand in the cleaning and detergent industry was skyrocketing but it failed to increase the profitability as production of LAB flourished and supplies overflowed. Nevertheless, the benzene demand was increasing, and it was anticipated that LAB would soon rebound in the upcoming quarters.

Europe

In Europe, the linear alkyl benzene (LAB) market in 2020 had remained strong in the light of increased demand for cleaning products in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As the virus resurfaced in the region, the chemical’s consumption in the form of surfactants and other derivatives surged further. With an unforeseen turnaround in the upcoming term, the market players had been careful to not let supply outstrip the demand which may lead to reduced margins for profit.

North America

Cleaning and surfactant products consumption was on the rise in the US in 2020, as preventive measures for Covid-19. The demand for the chemical therefore grew appreciably in the region in the second quarter of 2020, but later stabilized as panic stockpiling and procurement gradually ceased.

As inventories were flooded with supplies, manufacturers bared the brunt of reduced profits while operating costs continued to remain the same. The industry however continued to experiment with new products and expressed optimism towards market recovery and improved demands in the next quarter.

Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB). 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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About LAB

Linear Alkyl Benzenes, or often called the LABs, are basically a family of organic compounds. They are primarily prepared as intermediates in the manufacturing of surfactants for use in detergents. They are also used as a neutrino detector in the nuclear industry. It can be sulphonated to produce LAS, a biodegradable surfactant. It can be produced using different routes based on the requirement of LAB-derived detergents.

LAB Product Details

Report Features Details
Product Name Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB)
Chemical Formula C6H5CnH2n+1
Industrial Uses Surfactant, Household Detergents, Industrial Cleaners, Laundry Powders, Light-Duty-Dish-Washing Liquids
Synonyms LAB, 67774-74-7, (C10-13 alkyl) benzene
Supplier Database Sasol Group, CEPSA Química, S.A., Jin Tung Petrochemical Corp Ltd , Farabi Petrochemicals Co, Desmet Ballestra, Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Co. Ltd, Huntsman Corporation 
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.

LAB Production Processes

  • Production of Linear Alkyl Benzene from Ethylene; and from Kerosene

Ethylene can be oligomerized or partially polymerized in order to obtain linear alkenes. The resulting linear mono-olefins are made to react with benzene with the help of a catalyst, particularly hydrogen fluoride (HF) and aluminium chloride (AlCl3), to produce LAB.

Methodology

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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