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Acrylic acid-Acrylate esters: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2017
In the US acrylic acid and acrylate esters markets, third-quarter 2017 pricing is expected to be stable-to-higher on likely similar movement in upstream propylene. The feedstock appeared to be strengthening after a second quarter of price weakness despite a supply-constrained acrylates market. Demand from the US paint and coatings market was expected to continue steady during the summer after peak seasonal demand in the second quarter.
In Europe, supply was largely balanced at the outset of the third quarter. Prices in June decreased following a weaker propylene-contract settlement. Further downward pressure in July is expected because of likely weakness in upstream contracts. Demand remains healthy, but may soften in the coming months, given approaching European holidays.
The Asian acrylates market is expected to see flat demand on unchanged fundamentals in the third quarter. Some plant turnarounds in southeast Asia, however, are expected to support prices and offset effects of high operating rates in China. Export volumes are expected to continue from China after yuan-denominated prices begin abating from July.
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Acrylic Acid/Acrylate Esters Methodology
About Acrylic acid-Acrylate esters
Acrylate esters are colourless liquids with acrid odours, and are traded as technical grade (99% purity). Methyl acrylate and ethyl acrylate are toxic enough to require a hazardous shipping label, while butyl acrylate and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2EHA) are considered safe.
Acrylate esters are used in the manufacture of surface coatings/paints and resins, adhesives and plastics, dispersions and in some cases paper.
They are readily polymerised if exposed in water, to form a latex (a dispersion of solid particles in water) such as latex paints.
An associated product is methyl methacrylate. Acrylate esters are made from the reaction of an alcohol to an acid such as acrylic acid. This process is called esterification.