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 Q1 2021
Asia Pacific butyl acetate (butac) markets were bolstered by a supply shortfall in Q1. Constraints in supply of feedstock n-butanol globally led to raised offers by suppliers, owing to high costs of feedstock. The supply disruptions were triggered by the severe winter storm in the US Gulf Coast, which lifted oil prices and upstream commodities. Several Asia butac producers were forced to run plants at reduced capacity.
Asia-Pacific demand was healthy against a backdrop of tight supply availability during Q1. Regional buyers in southeast Asia were seen securing smaller volumes at higher prices amid steady restocking activity. Supply limitations for export from China, amid raised offers by regional suppliers because of squeezed margins, combined with the lack of feedstock availability to produce butac resulted in spot trades concluded at higher levels.
Supply tightened further during Q1 2021. Major producer BASF’s force majeure, the continued absence of import material and restrictions on upstream propylene, NBA and acetic acid all contributed to very tight supply.
Following a shorter-than-usual seasonal lull in December, demand was good in early January, rising to be strong for most of Q1. Buyers struggled to secure necessary volumes in a very tight market, and strong demand from the key downstream automotive market contributed to high consumption throughout.
Supply of butac, a solvent used largely in paint and coatings and in packaging inks, tightened dramatically in mid-February following a severe winter storm that prompted butac and upstream plant shutdowns in the central and southern US. Buyers continued to face volume allocations and extended lead times as the supply chain struggled to recover at the end of Q1. The storm also further delayed truck and rail transport already hampered by too few truck drivers, which overburdened railroad traffic.
US butac demand gained momentum throughout Q1, continuing to outpace supply despite some mid-quarter slowdowns in the housing and automotive markets caused at least partially by the winter storm. Month-on-month housing starts were down in February, as were sales of existing homes and new single-family homes. Demand from the automobile coatings sector also was stymied by a global shortage of semiconductors, which contributed to automotive production cuts.
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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.