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.
Updated to Q2 2020
Asia-Pacific supply was ample as a whole during Q2. The Ramadan fasting month weighed on import interest in southeast Asia outlets. However, signs of potential buyers returning following this, combined with countries in the region easing coronavirus restrictions, provided some market support towards the later part of Q2. Constraints in spot supply availability for some suppliers in China offered support to export prices.
Import demand in southeast Asia outlets was sluggish for most of Q2. The Ramadan fasting month chipped away at import demand from the region. The global pandemic saw market participants putting import commitments on the backburner. With lockdown measures easing towards the end of Q2 as well as rising global crude prices, signs of a gradual recovery in southeast Asia demand provided timely relief in cushioning prices.
Supply was long throughout the second quarter of 2020. The European market is structurally long when its three major producers – INEOS, OQ Chemicals and BASF – are operating normally. Weak demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic further lengthened European supply.
Demand for butac was low throughout the second quarter. The automotive industry – a key end-user of butac – is one of the sectors most heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has also affected seasonal consumption. Typically, the second quarter would be the strongest time of the year for the coatings sector, but no seasonal increase in demand was seen this year.
Q2 supply of butac, a solvent used in paint and coatings, was broadly balanced to slightly outpacing demand, with some producers conceding that they had adjusted production rates downward to meet diminished demand during the period in which coronavirus restrictions were still largely in place or beginning to ease. Pricing generally tracked propylene flat to lower during the period in the absence of typical seasonal demand strength.
In Q2, some of the demand that had improved late in Q1 on some pre-buying gave way to customer destocking, which pushed some butac demand to a floor in May. DIY paint-sector demand and buying interest from packaging inks remained healthy, however. Reopening of the US economy began with a resurgence in coronavirus cases, and automobile-manufacturing and construction markets saw only a slow uptick as destocking continued.
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A colourless flammable liquid with a fruity odour, butyl acetate is produced by the esterification of acetic acid using butanol in the presence of a catalyst such as sulphuric acid.
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.
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