The ICIS Fatty Acids report is produced for Asia, Europe and the US. All regions cover a variety of grades and these unbiased price assessments are published weekly by our locally based reporters.
News and market analysis includes information on demand, supply, production issues, feedstock developments and graphs, plus any other key factors driving market prices at the time. Use this invaluable independent market intelligence to assist you in making crucial business judgements.
Our editor gives their expert view
Fatty Acids Overview Transcript
The North American fatty acid report in the US covers fatty acids that are derived from tallow. Fatty acids are part of the oleochemical community of products. Those products are made through various splitting of water and oils, fat being an oil, so when you create the fatty acid you get the acid component of the oil splitting. You also get a glycerine co-product.
The fatty acids go into a variety of products, they are ubiquitous in the market in fact, they go into food products, they go into industrial products, they go into agricultural products.
In the food industry they are used to make foods more palatable. In the industrial industry they go into surfactants, where they are combined with alcohols to create esters and in the agricultural industry they go into the same items.
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Fatty acids: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2016
Asia’s fatty acids market is poised for another slow quarter with no signs of an uptick in demand. Pressure remains on the mid-cut fatty acids, which has continued to be relatively slow-moving, but the supply-demand situation for the other cuts seem more balanced at the moment. As a result of lower operating rate for the palm kernel oil (PKO) lines, short chain acids supply has become very short, promoting pricing support for suppliers.
In the US, C18 stearic and oleic fatty acid supply is expected to continue to trend to a balanced market amid healthy sustained demand in most end-use sectors. Feedstock fats and grease markets are expected to continue to recover from lows seen during Q4 2015 and then stabilise, resulting in likely stable pricing in tallow-based fatty acids in the US throughout the quarter.
Feedstock and global pricing trends continue to be key European contract negotiations for C18 stearic and oleic fatty acid. A clear consensus on Q3 prices has yet to emerge, but expectations point generally to stable-to-firm prices going forward, with the exception of palm-based stearic acid, which were said to be stalling on customer expectations of a price fall from the second quarter.
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Fatty Acids Methodology
About Fatty acids
Fatty acids are produced from natural fats and oils such as coconut and palm oil, tallow oil, soya, rapeseed and tall oil. The use of different oils allows the production of acids with differing carbon chain length distribution that can characterise a fatty acid into groups according to the main chain length.
The main use of fatty acids are in the production of soaps, detergents and surfactants used in products such as shampoos, liquid detergents, body lotions and toiletries.
They are used in the manufacture and compounding of natural and synthetic rubbers to obtain the best processing and vulcanisation characteristics. In food they can be used to produce monoglycerides to act as food emulsifiers.