Price and market trends: Etac prices in Asia may extend gains on feedstock rebound

24 July 2014 11:23 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Yuan-denominated domestic etac prices in east China reversed the recent downtrend and rebounded by 2.1%

The prices of ethyl acetate (etac) in Asia may extend gains on the back of a rebound in feedstock acetic acid prices in China, market sources said on 15 July.

The prices of etac offered by China, the regional benchmark, were up by 0.3% to settle at an average of $907.50/tonne FOB (free on board) China for the week ended 11 July, the first increase in three weeks, ICIS data showed.

 

 

An unplanned shutdown at the 500,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant operated by BP YPC Acetyls Company (BYACO) in Nanjing prompted some Chinese acetic acid producers to withhold offers from Monday, constraining supply, said three Chinese etac makers.

“Acetic acid selling indications are rising very rapidly,” said a Chinese etac producer.

In response to the acetic acid price rebound, a number of Chinese etac makers increased their export offers to $920-945/tonne FOB China on 15 July from $910-930/tonne FOB China in the preceding week, according to information collated by ICIS.

“The acetic acid price upturn has taken some Chinese etac producers by surprise, because [the same etac producers] had been expecting acetic acid prices to continue correcting downwards,” said a trader.

The prices of acetic acid prices in east China lost 7.4% in the three weeks ended 11 July to settle at an average of yuan (CNY) 3,775/tonne ex-tank.

The average prices had surged 35.8% between late March and the week ended 20 June, ICIS data showed.


TIGHT SUPPLY

“There is no cargo available in the market,” said a separate Chinese etac producer, referring to acetic acid supply.

Supply of acetic acid in China is expected to be further tightened by rolling maintenance shutdowns planned by China’s Yankuang Cathay Coal Chemicals, Shanghai Huayi Group and Celanese in July and August, etac makers said.

“Some regional buyers were holding out because they were waiting for [China etac] prices to decline further, I don’t think that is going to happen now,” the same trader said.

By Trisha Huang and Allison Shi