SLES (Sodium lauryl Ether sulfate) Price Trend

SLES Prices Q1 2022

Asia

In the beginning of 2022, the SLES market in China had been week as the Chinese Lunar Year brought down the production and business activities in the region. The prices continued to witness a downward trend in January with the average 70% SLES FOB Nanjing prices falling by 6.3% and 28% SLES Ex-Shanghai prices falling by 11.5% since December. The fall in prices can be accounted to manufacturers prioritising stock clearance, therefore leading to negative revisions in offered contracts.

SLES Prices (Q4 2021)

Asia

SLES costs rose sharply in October, continuing to rise until November, owing to restricted raw material availability. Due to low productivity, major palm oil-producing countries like Indonesia and Malaysia struggled to meet international demand, forcing importing countries like China to pay more for feedstock imports. Due to China's Dual Control Policy, industrial facilities were unable to operate at full capacity, exacerbating the SLES supply deficit and causing prices to spike in November. However, due to lower demand and relief in ethylene and ethylene oxide prices, prices fell to between 910 USD/MT and 1282 USD/MT in December. Due to higher raw material prices on the international market, prices in India grew steadily during the quarter. As the Omicron cases rose across the region, demand from the soap and detergent downstream industries grew, which quickly began to fill their stockpiles, forcing prices in India to settle at 879 USD/MT Ex-Mumbai in December.

Europe

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the European market followed the same pricing trend as the US, with prices increasing in October and gradually increasing in November and December. Due to the peaking energy crisis, producers were obliged to trade SLES volumes at high rates due to a lack of feedstock supplies and high input costs. The sustained bullishness in the SLES market was fueled by increased end-user demand, which widened the supply-demand fundamentals as coronavirus cases resurfaced, finally driving prices to linger over 400 USD/MT FOB in Germany in December 2021.

North America

Throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, the SLES market in North America was hit hard by excessive pricing volatility. Palm oil prices on the worldwide market reached new highs. This, combined with rising prices for raw materials such as ethylene and ethylene oxide, encouraged companies to seek favourable adjustments to their contracts. The price hikes were aided by a shortage of raw materials due to delayed supplies and rising freight expenses. As marine trade movement slowed and ethylene oxide raw material prices cooled, SLES prices in the US stayed around 590 USD/MT FOB New York, registering a lesser percentage increase than in November. Palm oil supply constraints persisted despite a positive demand outlook, causing prices to stay buoyant.

SLES Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)

Asia

The benchmark crude palm oil price futures rose by 31% to 1252 USD/MT due to tight supplies from Malaysia and Indonesia, the world's main palm oil producing countries. The production in Indonesia slowed in the third quarter due to poor fertiliser use and maintenance concerns. In July, the price increased by 67 USD/MT over the previous year. As the number of coronavirus infections in the country increased, costs rose due to a lack of supply caused by a labour shortage. The spike in palm oil prices had an influence on downstream sectors like SLES, as it increased the cost of raw materials.

North America

Palm oil prices surged to 1110 USD/MT in March 2021, up from 1040 USD/MT, and were expected to rise higher. As a result of this price increase, the price of SLES increased as well.

SLES Prices Overview 2020

Asia

Palm oil demand had fallen by 5% in May 2020 compared to the beginning of the year, as its exports and demand fell. During the coronavirus outbreak, the WHO advised against using palm oil and instead advocated switching to alternative vegetable oils. Its prices had fallen to 9-month lows of 461 USD/MT. As a result of a global supply deficit and unfavourable weather circumstances, the benchmark crude palm oil price in Malaysia increased to an eight-year high of 3348 USD/MT in November 2020. Its price volatility had an impact on downstream products such as SLES.

Europe

Europe, which is one of the main users of palm oil, saw a drop of around 1-1.5 MMT as a result of the pandemic's disturbed supply-demand fundamentals. In Europe, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and Italy were the top consumers of palm oil. Its usage, on the other hand, only recovered in the second half of the year. Throughout most of the year, demand for palm oil remained weak, influencing prices in downstream industries such as SLES.

North America

In the year 2020, the price of coconut oil (CNO) increased substantially. The price was 39% higher at 1,015 USD/MT than it was previous year at 731 USD/MT. The price in the United States changed by 35%, from 834 USD/MT to 1,463 USD/MT. PKO prices increased by 25% in 2020, rising from an average of 662 USD/MT in 2019 to an average of 827 USD/MT in 2020. The price was rising at a rate of 3% every month, with a 46% fluctuation.

As the price disparity between CNO and PKO widened, so did demand for CNO in the US market. CNO shipments to the United States totaled 454,401 tonnes in 2020, down 3.5 percent from the previous year. Demand for PKO increased by 11% in 2020, from 343,052 to 381,105 tonnes. In the United States, the total volume of lauric oil imported increased by more than 3%.

Procurement Resource Database

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Procurement Resource provides latest prices of SLES (Sodium lauryl Ether sulfate). 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; customization of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.

Chart Description

Procurement Resource provides prices of SLES for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
  • Africa

About SLES

SLES is widely used and the most common of a group of commercial sodium and ammonium alkyl and alkyl ether sulphates. Being an anionic detergent and surfactant, it is used in the production of many personal care products. It easily creates foam or lather as well as is inexpensive in nature. It’s essentially a synthetic soap.

Chemical Formula:

  • CH3(CH2)10CH2(OCH2CH2)nOSO3Na

Synonyms:

  • ‎9004-82-4
  • Sodium laureth sulphate 
  • Sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES)

Molecular Weight:

  • Variable; but generally around 420 g/mol (288.38 + 44.05n) g/mol

Industrial Uses

  • Industrial strength detergents
  • Engine degreasers
  • Soap
  • Shower Gels
  • Toothpaste
  • Floor Cleaners
  • Paper

Production Processes

  • SLES or Sodium Laureth Sulphate Production from Chlorosulphonic Acid, Lauryl Ethoxylate, and Sodium Hydroxide; and via Ethoxylation of Dodecyl Alcohol

In the ethoxylation process, SLES is produced from dodecyl alcohol, which is obtained industrially from palm kernel oil or coconut oil. The resulting ethoxylate is transformed to a half ester of sulphuric acid, which gets neutralised by subsequent conversion to the sodium salt. 

Supplier Database

  • Kao Corporation
  • Solvay S.A.
  • Clariant AG
  • BASF SE

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.

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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