The ICIS Fatty Acids report is produced for Asia, Europe and the US. All regions cover a variety of grades and these unbiased price assessments are published weekly by our locally based reporters.
News and market analysis includes information on demand, supply, production issues, feedstock developments and graphs, plus any other key factors driving market prices at the time. Use this invaluable independent market intelligence to assist you in making crucial business judgements.
Our editor gives their expert view
Fatty Acids Overview Transcript
The North American fatty acid report in the US covers fatty acids that are derived from tallow. Fatty acids are part of the oleochemical community of products. Those products are made through various splitting of water and oils, fat being an oil, so when you create the fatty acid you get the acid component of the oil splitting. You also get a glycerine co-product.
The fatty acids go into a variety of products, they are ubiquitous in the market in fact, they go into food products, they go into industrial products, they go into agricultural products.
In the food industry they are used to make foods more palatable. In the industrial industry they go into surfactants, where they are combined with alcohols to create esters and in the agricultural industry they go into the same items.
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Fatty acids: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
The Asian fatty acids market will continue to be affected by the uncertain palm oil price outlook in the first quarter. Palm kernel oil and palm stearin prices have been on a strong uptrend since the start of 2017, even though raw material production is expected to make a full recovery. Trade discussions remain subdued, with buyers and sellers limiting their risk exposure.
In the US, C18 stearic and oleic fatty acid supply is expected to continue to trend to a finely balanced market in Q1 amid sustained demand in most end-use sectors. Feedstock fats and grease markets are expected to decline, resulting in likely lower pricing in tallow-based fatty acids in the US throughout the quarter.
European fatty acid prices have settled higher for the first quarter of 2017 on the back of feedstock pressure and limited availability. The market is fairly balanced and expected to remain so, at least until the end of the quarter. Sources have widely acknowledged that while the market is not considered short, there is certainly no excess material in the market, particularly for palm-based acids.
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Fatty Acids Methodology
About Fatty acids
Fatty acids are produced from natural fats and oils such as coconut and palm oil, tallow oil, soya, rapeseed and tall oil. The use of different oils allows the production of acids with differing carbon chain length distribution that can characterise a fatty acid into groups according to the main chain length.
The main use of fatty acids are in the production of soaps, detergents and surfactants used in products such as shampoos, liquid detergents, body lotions and toiletries.
They are used in the manufacture and compounding of natural and synthetic rubbers to obtain the best processing and vulcanisation characteristics. In food they can be used to produce monoglycerides to act as food emulsifiers.