For the First Quarter of 2022
Toluene prices in Asia Pacific began to rise in the first quarter of 2022. Upstream crude prices have risen as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, producing a price spike in the Toluene market, which led to a volatility in saccharin prices as well. The disruption of commerce and port congestion induced by the reinstatement of COVID in China also altered the regional market's toluene price trajectory. Furthermore, the rising demand for downstream paint, ink, and adhesives has driven up the price of toluene. Furthermore, increased freight costs have strengthened the Toluene market in the region. Thus, the CFR price of toluene in India had stabilised at 815 USD/MT by the quarter ending March 2022.
Because of rising demand from the regional market, toluene prices climbed in the first quarter of 2022. Increased demand for ink, paints, and adhesives led the price hike. Furthermore, geopolitical tensions influenced upstream crude, negatively impacting petroleum feedstocks and producing rail and road traffic bottlenecks across the Black Sea. In addition, the continuation of Europe's energy crisis, which began when Russian gas was banned after their invasion of Ukraine, resulted in a significant price increase. As a result, the FOB price of toluene in Germany was anticipated at 1150 USD/MT in March 2022. Saccharin prices followed the price trend of toluene.
Due to rising demand from downstream sectors such as paints, adhesives, and glues, toluene prices surged in the first quarter of 2022. Furthermore, the crisis between Russia and Ukraine caused a surge in upstream Crude and feedstock Benzene prices, which damaged the Toluene market. Furthermore, shipments were redirected during the Russian invasion, slowing supplies and damaging the Toluene price trend. Increasing fuel prices and freight costs also had an impact on the toluene market. Furthermore, the energy issue has driven up costs since the United States put sanctions on Russian gas. Toluene was priced at 1225 USD/MT in March 2022 in the United States.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
In the last quarter of 2021, the price of toluene in Asia varied by country. The price in China changed throughout the quarter due to changes in benzene pricing as well as variations in demand. From October to November, the price in Shanghai went from 993 USD/MT to 1022 USD/MT before dropping to 915 USD/MT in December 2021. A similar trend was observed in India, where prices fell by 115 USD/MT from October to December 2021. The drop in price was caused by a plentiful supply of toluene and benzene. The saccharin market too witnessed price variations depending on the region throughout the quarter.
Due to low supply from manufacturers, the market in Europe saw an increase in toluene pricing in the fourth quarter of 2021. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, imports from Asia were restricted and decreased, resulting in a supply shortfall among local manufacturers. Due to a rise in natural gas prices, production levels were likewise low. From October 2021 to December 2021, the price in Hamburg climbed by 75 USD/MT, reaching 910 USD/MT. This led to a jump in saccharin prices as well.
As large producers such as Dow and ExxonMobil resumed toluene production in September, prices began to fall in the fourth quarter of 2021, supported by adequate supply of the product. Throughout the quarter, the demand picture remained relatively constant. A drop in crude oil prices resulted in an increase in the price of benzene, which, combined with limited demand, had an impact on toluene and its derivatives price, like that of saccharin, in the region. Another explanation for the price drop was that consumers were unwilling to stock big supplies of toluene. The price in the United States was 853 USD/MT in December 2021.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
As India's chemical industry began to recover from the pandemic, toluene prices began to rise steadily and gradually. As state governments removed transportation constraints, demand grew in tandem with rising levels of petrochemical usage. The Chinese government increased levies on imported commodities, including aromatics, resulting in a considerable price increase. As a result, by the end of quarter 2, the chemical's pricing trends in China's domestic market had changed. In June, prices in Shanghai were estimated to be around 740 USD/MT.
Demand dynamics in Asia were booming, as demand continued to rise due to rising consumption levels in the coating and paint industries, as well as increased building construction. In the third quarter of 2021, toluene prices grew in response to rising demand, which in turn, increased the prices of saccharin. Industry increased its operating costs for plant operations, resulting in an increase in domestic demand. Prices reached as high as 824 USD/MT by the conclusion of the third quarter. However, due to the volatile crude oil market, it was not as high as predicted.
Toluene supplies were rationed in Europe in the first quarter of 2021, owing to a drop in demand caused by pandemic-induced lockdowns that impacted mobility, transportation, and the economy, resulting in low toluene as well as saccharin demand. In the first quarter of 2021, the price in Germany was 598 USD/MT. Due to the delay in resuming operations at the BASF Ludwigshafen plant, supplies in the European region was constrained. Imports from the United States increased product supply as demand increased due to growing consumption in the coating and paint sectors as building construction increased.
The pricing trend saw a modest rise as a result of a surge in demand across the region. In the second quarter of 2021, the price in Germany was 746 USD/MT. During the third quarter of 2021 in Europe, the total market for the chemical experienced a mixed bag of emotions. The price dropped in September as the crude oil market declined. The quarter's prices were influenced by the fact that demand remained sluggish and trade was lower in early September. Germany's toluene price fell from 805 USD/MT to 755 USD/MT in the third quarter of 2021, indicating a negative trend.
Plant activities were halted due to maintenance requirements in the first quarter of 2021, limiting the supply of toluene, a key feedstock for saccharin production. Due to the extreme cold and adverse weather conditions in the United States, production lines were disrupted, leading to a rise in domestic prices. Domestic buyers were forced to switch to international shipments from Asia because of the rising prices of domestically produced toluene. In the first quarter, prices were around 910 USD/MT. The petrochemical industries were driven to replenish their supply deficit following the aftermath of the Uri storm, which resulted in a considerable improvement in their supplies as compared to the previous quarter. Saccharin prices followed a similar pattern.
Because of rising consumption levels in the coating and painting sectors as building construction rose, demand for the chemical surged in the market. Several spot buyers rushed to enhance their toluene stock supplies as hurricanes were forecast in the United States. Prices were stabilised at 845 USD/MT at the conclusion of the second quarter.
In the third quarter of 2021, prices in North America were generally unchanged as leading toluene manufacturers, such as Dow and ExxonMobil, began toluene production and therefore increased supply in the market. Following then, demand peaked due to unplanned lockdowns, and prices remained mainly unchanged. Prices were range-bound as demand from downstream markets like saccharin was still recovering. In the third quarter, the market price jumped to 990 USD/MT.
For the Year 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted toluene markets in Asia in 2020, with markets failing to recover from decreased demand. Supplies skyrocketed in China as local dealers attempted to boost their sales through export routes, resulting in an increase in the chemical's entry into Southeast Asia. Unpredictable swings in natural gas prices and uncertain demand dynamics aided further price declines. The saccharin market was similarly impacted by the covid-19 pandemic with reduced demands from the food industry. The average price per metric tonne of the chemical was around 637 USD.
The chemical's market shrank as its consumption fell in Europe. Producers were impacted by the price decline and attempted to minimise their operating costs. The demand for toluene was also influenced by several turnarounds in downstream operations. Due to the pandemic, prices in Germany fell from 565 USD/MT in the first quarter to 357 USD/MT in the second. However, in the third quarter, they increased to 425 USD/MT and remained constant for the rest of the year. Saccharin prices in Europe were also affected by the price rise of toluene in Q3 2020.
The increased supply in Asia, as well as natural disasters and hurricanes that misdirected imports, impacted US markets. Following the pandemic, transportation became more readily available, which raised demand. Producers cut their operational expenses, and suppliers relied on export demand to keep their businesses afloat. Toluene prices in the United States dropped from 1000 USD/MT in the first quarter of 2020 to as low as 780 USD/MT in the fourth quarter. A similar trend was witnessed in saccharin prices as well.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Saccharin. 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 Saccharin for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
Saccharin, also known as sodium saccharin is an organic, petroleum-based compound utilised as an artificial sweetener. It is about 300–400 times as sweet as sucrose although it has a bitter or metallic aftertaste, particularly at high concentrations. Saccharin is often utilised to sweeten products for example candies, beverages, cookies, and medicines.
Chemical Formula of Saccharin:
In Maumee process, the methyl anthranilate reacts with nitrous acid, that is, sodium nitrite and hydrochloric acid, followed by the successive reactions with sulphur dioxide, chlorine, and then ammonia to finally produce Saccharin.
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