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 2019
Butyl acetate (butac) supply was maintained at low levels. There was, however, no shortage of supply due to slow demand. In China, operating rates remained curtailed from previous quarter due to poor butac margins. In southeast Asia, regional producers largely operated normally. Inventory levels in southeast Asia were largely ample as the offtake was slow. Competition was intense giving pressure to prices.
Demand in China was slow on US-China trade war and a slowdown in economy. Environmental requirements still impacted downstream demand. Furthermore, an explosion in Jiangsu province heightened safety inspections, further impacting demand. In southeast Asia, there were several holidays and elections in Q2, which affected trading momentum. Local inventory moved slowly with end-users buying on a need-to basis. The global uncertainty weighed on buying sentiments for a large part of Q2.
European supply of butyl acetate (butac) was balanced in Q2, following the balanced-to-long conditions seen in March. Sufficient material was available as the European butac market is structurally long and no significant production outages impacted the market. Consumption of butac was also weaker than usual for the time of year.
Demand for butac rose during Q2, which is typically the peak time for consumption at the key downstream coatings sector. However, levels of demand remained below expectations as wider uncertainties including a weak automotive sector and US-China trade tensions resulted in a smaller increase in consumption than usual.
Supply of US butyl acetate (butac), which is mostly used as a solvent in paints and coatings or as a synthetic fruit flavouring in food products, was balanced to ample during the second quarter of 2019 as downstream architectural and automobile coatings continued to slump on economic and weather-related headwinds. Weakness from a slow first quarter failed to dissipate, delaying a return to more typical market fundamentals for this time of year.
Butac demand during the second quarter of 2019 marginally improved for some market participants, but remained mostly flat amid ongoing year-on-year construction and automotive market weakness that diminished usually strong seasonal paint and coatings demand during the period. Those markets remained mostly sluggish as volumes broadly failed to reach seasonal peaks expected during the quarter’s spring paint and coatings season. Neither of two butac planned maintenance outages in May-June had much effect on supply or demand.
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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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