Fatty alcohols Prices, markets & analysis
For those looking to keep abreast of the global Fatty alcohols market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Fatty alcohols or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Fatty alcohols market as they happen.
Our editor gives their expert view of fatty alcohols
Fatty Alcohols Overview Transcript
The fatty alcohols are part of a group of chemicals called oleochemicals. The alcohols contain an alcohol unit as well as a glyceride unit and the functionality of those units allows the alcohols to be used in end-uses for industrial and home cleansers, detergents, surfactants.
It also enables the C8-11s to go into various construction uses and the C16-18s to go into personal care and cosmetics.
The market is driven highly by the price of veg oils in Asia, the US imports about 90% of our alcohols, so the US market is very watchful of the Asian veg oil prices.
It’s trade driven and the US, being a huge consuming market, whereas the other markets might have a little more spot selling going on
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Upstream of Fatty alcohols
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Fatty alcohols: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2015
In the US market for the second quarter, mid cut detergent range fatty alcohols C12-15, which includes the 12-14 natural and the synthetic alcohols to 12-15, are considered to be in ready supply. C16-18 heavy chain alcohols are in a similar supply condition, with US buyers widely convinced that alcohol supply is ample in the global market. Flat demand conditions are also a prevailing factor in Q2, with a decline in US oilfield applications pulling down options for the mid cuts. Market incursion efforts by at least one major importer have also led to lower price expectations from buyers.
Asian fatty alcohols in Q2 could be stable, or lower, owing to a seasonal demand pick-up and expectations of lower feedstock costs. Moreover, supply levels were kept in check from reduced operations across the region and scheduled or unscheduled plant turnarounds. Nonetheless, the commissioning of new plants, likely in the second half of 2015, weighed on buying sentiments.
European C12-14 fatty alcohols prices are expected to firm substantially in Q2 2015 as the euro has weakened significantly against the dollar since Q4 2014. Palm kernel oil (PKO) prices remain at high levels despite falling at the end of Q1 2015, also pressuring prices up, while demand in Europe is balanced to low. Buyers are resisting the increases as availability in Europe remains high, however the euro has weakened to such an extent that a significant hike is inevitable.
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Fatty Alcohols Methodology
About Fatty alcohols
Fatty alcohols can be produced from natural oils such as palm kernel oil, vegetable oils, soy bean and tallow using hydrogenation. However, they can be produced synthetically by the oligomerization of ethylene to produce fatty alcohols with chain lengths suitable for surfactants.
The main use of fatty alcohols is in detergents where they are used to make the active cleansing ingredients in laundry detergents, shampoos and shower gels. An example is the production of ethoxylates from the reaction of the acid with ethylene oxide.
In cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, fatty alcohols may be used because of their own specific properties such as cleansing, shaving and vanishing creams, hair lotions and lipsticks.
Other applications include emulsion stabilisers, evaporation control agent, lubricants, corrosion inhibitors and inks.
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