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 Q2 2016
Some European etac market participants expect relatively healthy business in the second quarter of 2016, as it is the only quarter during which trading is not impacted by holidays. Improving weather conditions should also support etac demand. For importers, much will depend on whether European etac prices rise to a level at which margins are workable. High costs, low European prices and an unfavourable exchange rate have recently meant that many importers were unable to sell etac to Europe.
With the US etac market at historic lows, multiple producers separately announced at the end of the first quarter of 2016 they are seeking 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne) price increases for 1 April, or as contracts allow.
The distributor price was at its lowest since ICIS began quoting the US northeast/Midwest delivered price in August 2007, while the spot price was at its lowest since May 2005. One supplier said the increases are essentially the same that were separately sought by producers late in 2015 in an effort to improve margins. The marketplace did not fully accept the previous increases.
Asian etac prices may stage a recovery in the second quarter after sinking to an all-time low in the preceding quarter, on the back of a recovery in upstream acetic acid prices. However, falling demand for Chinese exports into two key markets – Japan and South Korea – is likely to limit the feedstock cost-led upside to etac prices.
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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.