The ICIS Ethyl Acetate reports are published in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis.
All regions cover the spot market, while in the US there is also a distributor price assessment. The independent pricing information is gathered locally by our network of reporters. Commentary and analysis covers regional activity, upstream news, production updates and graphs, ensuring you are equipped with the latest market movements when making your commercial judgements.
Our editor gives their expert view
Ethyl acetate Overview Transcript
Ethyl acete or etac is a solvent with the main outlet being coatings which account for about 60% of demand.
Process solvents including pharmaceuticals and organic synthesis account for 15% while printing inks are also estimated at 15%. Miscellaneous uses including adhesives cosmetics account for a further 10% of demand.
The main European producers of ethyl acetate are Ineos, Sekab and Solutia. Product is regularly imported from Celanese in the US and Rhodia in Brazil. There are also imports of Indian product, and while there are some regular players involved in this, there is also some more sporadic involvement depending on net-backs and demand.
Producers generally agree contracts direct with the larger customers and have contracts with the distribution network to deliver to medium and smaller buyers.
Ethyl acetate’s key feedstocks are ethanol and acetic acid or ethylene and acetic acid depending on the player.
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Ethyl acetate: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2016
Asian ethyl acetate (etac) prices are likely to extend the strong run-up sparked by the September upsurge in raw material acetic acid and methanol prices in China. Increased winter heating demand in northern China, along with the Chinese governments’ initiative to curb overcapacity in heavy industries such as mining, is expected to tighten the supply of coal, the dominant feedstock for methanol in China.
Leaner etac supply, stemming from planned and unscheduled etac plant outages in recent months, has contributed to the etac price run-up. The ongoing tightness in China’s acetic acid availability is also expected to constrain etac supply in the near term.
European etac prices could be set to increase further in Q4. A lack of foreign material arriving over summer has been exacerbated by limitations on imports in the near future. It looks unlikely that the situation will be resolved soon, as with increased freight prices, Indian importers can, at best, break even. As a result little material is being pushed into Europe.
US etac prices are expected to remain flat in the fourth quarter. Market participants said they did not anticipate any further price increases for the rest of the year, after producer-initiated price hikes of three cents/lb and two cents/lb were achieved in September and October, respectively.
Heading into Q4, market feedback regarding supply has been mixed. Some sources have suggested that supply is tighter as the result of allocation and tight capacity at some producers. However, others have said that there have been no indications of supply tightness. Meanwhile, sources said that demand is likely to remain strong for the rest of the year.
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Ethyl Acetate Methodology
About Ethyl acetate
Ethyl acetate (etac) is a colourless, mobile, volatile liquid, with a characteristic pleasant fruity odour. It is highly flammable, soluble in ethyl alcohol and ether but slightly soluble in water.
It is used in a variety of coating formulations such as epoxies, urethanes, cellulosics, acrylics and vinyls. Applications for these coatings are numerous including wood furniture and fixtures, agricultural, construction and mining equipment, auto refinishing, and maintenance and marine uses.
Ethyl acetate has applications as a solvent in inks for flexographic and rotogravure printing. It is used as an extraction solvent in the production of pharmaceuticals and food, and as a carrier solvent for herbicides. High purity product can be used as a viscosity reducer for resins used in photoresist formulations in the electronics industry.
As an active solvent, etac is available in three grades: 85-88%, 99% and 99.5% (urethane grade). The most popular is 99% grade which is chiefly used in industrial lacquers and enamels.
Miscellaneous uses of etac include adhesives and cosmetics.