Fatty acids Prices, markets & analysis
For those looking to keep abreast of the global Fatty acids market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Fatty acids or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Fatty acids market as they happen. Our network of price reporters throughout Asia, Europe and the US provide key local insights.
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 news and market information products from ICIS
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Fatty acids: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2014
Globally, the fatty acid market is mixed, with the US and Europe remaining significant net importers of vegetable-derived fatty acids from Asia, while also maintaining tallow-based fatty acid production streams.
Asian fatty acid production remains vegetable derived, with C16 palmitic, C8s, C10s, C14, and any blends of these forming considerable portions of the materials imported by the US and Europe.
Tallow-based fatty acids in the US and Europe stem from traditional oleochemical production processes where fats are split to create the fatty acids with a glycerol co-product. In Asia, all fatty acid production is via the oleo route, using only vegetable oils.
European tallow-based fatty acids prices in the third quarter are expected to remain stable from second-quarter levels, with supply and demand in balance, and feedstock costs remaining relatively stable. Softening palm feedstock costs have led to expectations of lower third-quarter palm-based fatty acid prices, although tallow-grades are predicted to remain the more competitively priced option. Consumption is expected to decline, as anticipated during the quiet summer months in Europe.
In the US, C18 stearic and oleic fatty acid supply is trending to balance amid healthy sustained demand in most end-use sectors. Tall oil fatty acids (TOFAs) are derived from wood-pulping processes and provide alternative streams for C18s. In the US, TOFA supply is also lengthening, as producers are operating at high rates to maximize co-product rosin as the Chinese have not been as active in the rosin markets.
Asia fatty acid pricing is subject to upstream market movement of palm oil and palm kernel oil. Controlled production is likely to continue in order to minimize losses amid lower demand for C12/C14, and further tighten short chain fatty acid availability.
Stable demand and firm upstream as well as biodiesel policies might lend some support to triple pressed stearic acid pricing. At least two new plants in southeast Asia are slated for start-up by fourth quarter, adding extra capacities of around 400,000 tonne/year in 2014.
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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.