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 Q4 2020
Asia-Pacific butac markets saw a crunch in supply during the second half of Q4 2020. A shortage of feedstock n-butanol combined with regional producers holding on to low butac inventories bolstered market sentiment. Regional producers raised offers as they scoured the market for raw material, while butac plants were running at below full capacity.
The supply crunch pushed butac prices to multi-year highs. Asia-Pacific butac demand was upbeat on stronger buying activity in the second half of Q4 2020. An overall recovery in demand was seen as coronavirus restrictions eased in the region, against a backdrop of tight supply availability, leading to increased buying activity.
Supply was tight throughout October and November, and tightened furtherin December after major producer BASF declared force majeure. Force majeure was declared following an unplanned shutdown and a force majeure declaration on feedstock n-butanol (NBA) production. Limited availability of feedstock NBA had affected butac producers since late October, with a brief planned turnaround in November further limiting butac supply.
Demand was healthy for much of Q4. Demand from the key automotive sector recovered during the quarter, compared with the weak consumption driven by the coronavirus pandemic seen in Q2 and Q3. Consumption of butac remained good for most of December, which is typically a quiet month due to public holidays and destocking activity.
Supply of butac in Q4 was steady and largely balanced with demand although volumes increased in the latter portion of the quarter due to some restocking and coronavirus-related demand. Transportation constraints, including truck driver shortages and port and railhead congestion, were lengthening domestic delivery lead times.
Demand from architectural coatings and packaging inks continued to gain momentum throughout the Q4, contrary to typical year-end patterns. Some of that buying interest was attributed to pent-up demand stemming from early 2020 coronavirus lockdowns and some restocking for early 2021 amid some economic optimism centred on the implementation of coronavirus vaccines. With the coronavirus continuing to escalate in Q4, the do-it-yourself (DIY) paint sector also remained strong.
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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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