The Butyl Acetate reports are published weekly in Asia, Europe and the US, providing independent, unbiased pricing assessments, news and analysis.
This invaluable market intelligence is collated by our locally based reporters and includes spot prices, domestic and contract prices where applicable, upstream movements, feedstock news and graphs. We provide the tools you need to make informed and confident commercial decisions.
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Butyl acetate: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2017
In Asia, supply will likely remain balanced-to-tight in Q4. Prices for butac increased steadily in the last quarter and firm feedstock prices are expected to keep butac prices supported in Q4. Two major Chinese producers that export on a regular basis were heard running at an average rate of around 80%. Inventory levels are expected to remain low on feedstock supply tightness as well as improved demand during this peak season for solvents. A southeast Asian producer is planning a 2-week turnaround at the end of Q4 and that is expected to put some supply pressure in the region.
Demand will likely be stable-to-firm. Butac traditionally sees demand uptick from downstream paint and coating sectors in Q4 following the summer lull and rainy season. However, as prices for butac have increased significantly in the last quarter, downstream producers may resort to substitute butac with other lower-priced alternatives like secondary butyl acetate. Some importing markets might see flat demand as end-users reject higher butac prices.
Updated to Q4 2017
European supply of butyl acetate (butac) is likely to lengthen further in the fourth quarter of 2017 as major producer BASF is expected to return to normal production rates for butac and feedstock n-butanol (NBA) at its plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany in October. The European market is structurally long when the plants owned by BASF and other major producers OXEA and INEOS are all running normally, according to market sources. Once BASF’s plant is running normally, the market will return to this situation for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016.
Demand for butac is likely to remain healthy during October and November, particularly compared with the generally quiet third quarter. However, demand will most likely fall again before the Christmas holidays in December.
Updated to Q4 2017
US butac supply is expected to be somewhat constrained during the early part of the fourth quarter as upstream production continues to regain momentum after Hurricane Harvey. More broadly, supply was likely to remain mostly steady through the end of the year, as market conditions, including transportation logistics, continue to improve.
During a quarter in which demand and pricing usually drops off with the Christmas and US Thanksgiving holidays, as well as year-end de-stocking, some domestic butac sources anticipate more stable demand amid Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. There is debate, however, as to whether demand will begin to gain significant momentum late in the quarter or become more evident early next year.
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Butyl Acetate Methodology
About Butyl acetate
Butyl acetate is a colourless liquid with a fruity banana odour that is commonly used as a solvent in the production of lacquers, inks and adhesives. It is highly flammable and miscible with common organic solvents such as alcohols, ketones, glycols and esters.
Butyl acetate is mainly used as a solvent in the production of paints and lacquers, inks, adhesives and hardened coatings. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent and extraction agent, and used to purify penicillin.
Other uses include cosmetics and personal care products, fragrance solvent for perfumes, cleaning and car care products.
The main process for the manufacture of butyl acetate involves the esterification of butanol and acetic acid in the presence of a catalyst such as sulphuric acid.