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 Q3 2020
Supply was tight, particularly in the second half of the quarter. Unplanned and planned plant maintenance, largely within China, had cut production. Several producers continued to run their facilities at lower operating rates, amid squeezed margins on the back of stronger upstream prices. Offers from suppliers firmed, supporting the export market.
Consumer demand was generally steady and gathered some momentum towards the end of the third quarter, amid restocking activity ahead of regional holidays. A gradual strengthening in import appetite was seen from southeast Asia after coronavirus lockdown measures eased, soaking up supply that was limited, amid export-oriented facilities operating at reduced capacity in China or under maintenance. Firmer upstream markets lifted sentiment and supported the market.
Supply was long during July and August due to ample production capacity and weak demand. Supply tightened during September as demand increased and limited loading slots impacted the availability of material. Sources also referred to a production issue impacting a major producer, but this could not be confirmed.
Demand was weak in July due to low demand from the automotive sector. The automotive industry – a key end-user of butac – is one of the sectors most heavily impacted by the pandemic. August demand was quiet but within seasonal expectations and rose further in September as consumption from the automotive sector began to recover.
US Q3 2020 supply of butyl acetate, a solvent used in paint and coatings, was steady although demand picked up during the period, indicating production kept pace with buying interest. A resurgent coronavirus in late summer kept the do-it-yourself paint sector strong, supply to construction coatings increased, and downstream automobile production improved slowly. Pricing was steady early on, but increased moderately in August on higher propylene costs, but was steady for September.
US butac demand gained momentum during the third quarter of 2020, with September volumes matching strong August levels, potentially plateauing for October. While coronavirus restrictions eased early in the period, resurgent cases kept some constraints in place, and limited some anticipated Q3 growth. Although demand from residential construction picked up, commercial paint projects languished, creating uneven recovery despite steady auto-production growth. Broadly, volumes stayed below year-ago levels.
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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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