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Updated to Q3 2020
Supply was curtailed amid turnarounds in Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia in Q3. There was an outage at a Middle Eastern plant. Initially, Chinese exports were inactive amid better netbacks in the domestic market and a wide buy-sell gap in the export market. Subsequently, Chinese exports picked up for September-loading cargoes amid a supply gap in Asia.
In southeast Asia, demand recovery was slow and subdued in general. In India, demand returned following healthy harvest in the agricultural sector, while restriction measures were eased. At the end of Q3, India entered the peak season in preparation for the Diwali festival. China’s demand was suppressed by a longer-than-expected period of seasonal rains and floods, but later strengthened in the peak season from September.
Q3 saw a series of planned maintenance shutdowns in Europe, while imports remained limited. Supply tightened as a result.
Demand was higher than expected, with the summer slowdown not being as pronounced due to the coronavirus shutdowns earlier in the year.
Q3 supply was predominantly steady and ample. Even as buying interest continued to improve, especially from construction coatings and packaging adhesives, no supply strain emerged. Year-on-year volumes produced and sold were lower amid the persistent coronavirus, but a somewhat resurgent coronavirus in late summer kept the DIY paint sector strong. Pricing was steady during most of the period, but increased moderately in August on July propylene.
Demand from architectural coatings and packaging adhesives gained momentum, with September volumes matching strong August levels, but not exceeding them, indicating a potential plateau. While coronavirus restrictions eased early in the period, resurgent cases kept some constraints in place and limited some anticipated Q3 growth. While demand from residential construction picked up, commercial projects languished, creating uneven recovery and keeping volumes below year-ago levels.
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Acrylic Acid and Acrylate Esters in Europe are covered under separate entries. These products are combined in the regional reports published in Asia and the United States. Please see separate entries for information on the European market.
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.