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Acrylic Acid Acrylate Esters Transcript
Acrylic acid and esters are highly reactive and versatile chemicals that have wide-spread uses. Major markets for the esters include surface coatings, textiles, adhesives and plastics.
Polyacrylic acid or copolymers find applications in super-absorbents, detergents, dispersants and thickeners. Super-absorbent polymers (SAPs) are mainly used in disposable nappies. SAPs and detergent polymers have emerged as the fastest growing end-use accounting for nearly 40% of world glacial acrylic acid consumption.
Pricing for acrylates is generally influenced by movements in propylene, oxo-alcohols, methanol and ethanol, which of course are raw materials, as well as sentiment in the downstream segments.
Supply of acrylates is generally tight in Asia due to the fast growing needs of the downstream segments in key markets such as China, Southeast Asia and India.
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Acrylic acid-Acrylate esters: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
Market sentiments are slightly bearish for Q1, with most industry sources were not as bullish compared to before the new year. Market sources pointed to the weakening yuan prices in China as one of the key reasons, although sellers said there were still sufficient demand in the market. Price climbs in China had halted, sources said, and had started dropping in the past week on thinner demand and proximity to the Lunar New Year celebrations.
The European acrylic acid (AA) and acrylate esters markets welcomed 2017 amid lingering supply uncertainty caused by the explosion and fire at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site in mid-October. Sources expect propylene to be moving up until the second quarter of 2017 and this might have a subsequent impact on AA/acrylates prices
In the US acrylic acid and acrylate esters markets, pricing during the first quarter of 2017 will largely track propylene contract values, with additional momentum from rising demand levels as paint makers begin to blend product ahead of the second-quarter US spring paint and coatings season. Spot propylene was spiking as the period began, and was expected to push propylene contract prices higher, as well.
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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.