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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 Q2 2016
The next pricing direction for the European market is expected to be upward, with the April feedstock propylene price set to rise. This, along with potentially slightly healthier demand in the second quarter, and a firmer stance by producers to regain margin are firming sentiment. However, demand is not expected to increase much and supply remains ample.
Sentiments are expected to be bullish in the second quarter on the onset of seasonal demand and numerous turnarounds in Asia. Seasonal demand from end users will increase, market sources said, as the spring time typically sees an uptick in demand for finished products. Numerous turnarounds will also be taking place, with major producers in Asia undertaking maintenances in South Korea, southeast Asia and northeast Asia.
US acrylic acid and acrylate esters prices are likely to improve in the second quarter on some expectations of upstream pressure and the strength of anticipated higher coatings and adhesives demand during the US peak spring and summer coatings and construction season. Values were largely flat during the first quarter on mildly volatile propylene. Nonetheless, most sources expect demand to broadly track US GDP recently estimated at 2.5-2.6% for 2016.
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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.