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Acrylic Acid Acrylate Esters Transcript
Acrylic acid and esters are highly reactive and versatile chemicals that have wide-spread uses. Major markets for the esters include surface coatings, textiles, adhesives and plastics.
Polyacrylic acid or copolymers find applications in super-absorbents, detergents, dispersants and thickeners. Super-absorbent polymers (SAPs) are mainly used in disposable nappies. SAPs and detergent polymers have emerged as the fastest growing end-use accounting for nearly 40% of world glacial acrylic acid consumption.
Pricing for acrylates is generally influenced by movements in propylene, oxo-alcohols, methanol and ethanol, which of course are raw materials, as well as sentiment in the downstream segments.
Supply of acrylates is generally tight in Asia due to the fast growing needs of the downstream segments in key markets such as China, Southeast Asia and India.
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Acrylic acid-Acrylate esters: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2016
In the US acrylic acid and acrylate esters markets, pricing power is expected to weaken during the fourth quarter of 2016 on likely flat softer feedstock propylene values and on waning seasonal demand, especially from the predominant paint and coatings markets. October prices, however, are likely to increase at or near nominated levels on pressure from the 6 cent/lb ($132/tonne) September propylene increase.
In Europe, Q4 prices are expected to continue tracking propylene contract prices. After the unexpectedly strong October propylene increase, some players said the fact that crude oil broke the psychological barrier of $50/bbl could mean that propylene prices will move higher in November. Some market sources said additional acrylates expected in early 2017 from Russia and the Middle East probably has affected European producers' pricing strategies.
In Asia, demand is expected to pick up slightly as the end of the year approaches and purchasing opportunities dwindle ahead of the festival season. The adhesives, packaging and paints sectors will be most significantly affected, but supply is said to be ample.
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Acrylic Acid/Acrylate Esters Methodology
About Acrylic acid-Acrylate esters
Acrylate esters are colourless liquids with acrid odours, and are traded as technical grade (99% purity). Methyl acrylate and ethyl acrylate are toxic enough to require a hazardous shipping label, while butyl acrylate and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2EHA) are considered safe.
Acrylate esters are used in the manufacture of surface coatings/paints and resins, adhesives and plastics, dispersions and in some cases paper.
They are readily polymerised if exposed in water, to form a latex (a dispersion of solid particles in water) such as latex paints.
An associated product is methyl methacrylate. Acrylate esters are made from the reaction of an alcohol to an acid such as acrylic acid. This process is called esterification.