The Acetic Acid report is published weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. Our locally based ICIS reporters gather news on spot and contract business, demand and supply issues, production, feedstock developments and any other influencing factors that will impact price movements. This enables ICIS to publish independent price assessments as well as news and analysis which those in the industry can use to make decisions with confidence.
Updated to Q1 2020
Supply from China increased in February as local producers turned to the export markets to alleviate their inventory pressure in the wake of a weak domestic market. The extended Lunar New Year holidays due to coronavirus outbreak-containment measures led to prolonged outages at downstream plants in China. However, the second half of March saw reduced output as mechanical issues plagued an export-oriented producer’s plant in addition to scheduled maintenance shutdowns at other plants.
Demand across Asia fell as the coronavirus pandemic led to country lockdowns. Downstream plants in China were shuttered for longer than expected after the Lunar New Year holidays were extended (24 January-9 February) to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. India was placed in a country-wide lockdown from 25 March for 21 days, forcing ports to declare force majeure while buyers cancelled shipments from China and southeast Asia.
The interruption to acetyls output at the Celanese plant in Clear Lake, Texas, ceased to have a major impact on overall supply to Europe in the first quarter of 2020. However, the market had already largely returned to normal by the end of 2019 and the increase in supply was not therefore significant.
Demand was effectively unchanged in the first quarter of the year, maintaining a relatively healthy level. The only visible deviation from normal consumption came from the de-icing sector where the exceptionally mild winter removed the need for material. As the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic grew in March, acetic acid found strong demand in several applications countering the disease.
US acetic acid supplies faced some setbacks following a force majeure at the start of the year. Many market participants were focused on rebuilding supplies ahead of the typically stronger seasonal demand seen in Q2. Market activity remained slow through the start of the year. Exports of acetic acid have increased as supplies became more available since falling to multiyear lows seen in November 2019.
Demand was more muted during Q1 following production issues, both planned and unplanned in the US. An earlier-than-expected drop in temperatures across much of the US boosted demand for end-use de-icers. This was reversed in early Q1 as result of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting crude oil collapse. The domestic acetic acid market saw a drop in demand, with declines in the energy sector largely contributing to consumption deterioration.
Acetic acid news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Acetic acid analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Acetic acid marketplace.
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Acetic acid, a clear colourless liquid with a pungent odour, is used as a chemical intermediate and solvent with widespread applications throughout industry.
Acetic acid is a clear, colourless, mobile liquid with a pungent odour and acidic taste. It is miscible in water and most organic solvents but insoluble in mineral oils and carbon disulphide.
Acetic acid is used as a chemical intermediate and solvent with widespread applications throughout industry. The largest outlet is vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), which is used in paints, adhesives, textiles, paper, films and chewing gum. Many VAM plants are integrated with acetic acid facilities.
The production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is the second largest outlet consuming 18% of acetic acid production.
There are many other applications from fragrances to foodstuffs and dyes to detergents.
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