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 2019
Asia butyl acetate (butac) supply was tightened in Q3. Malaysian producer Petronas Chemicals Group started its turnaround from mid-August to mid-October, and reduced allocation in southeast Asia. Even though Indonesia’s Mega Prima Solvindo restarted its butac plant in July, after being idle since mid-2016, their initial operation was unstable. Chinese supply was largely stable but not plenty as producers had reduced operation rates amid slow demand and unhealthy margins previously.
Summer is the traditional lull season for the downstream paints and coatings sector. Buying sentiment was impacted by the escalation of the US-China trade war. Volatility of Asian currencies also affected import power. The automotive sector was subdued tracking a slowdown in the economy, which impacted demand from the automotive coating sector. Asian importers kept ample stocks and digested their inventory slowly. End-users bought on a need-to basis.
Supply was balanced and secure during July and August but tightened in September. BASF began a turnaround at its Ludwigshafen, German site in September and there was limited availability from multiple producers during the month according to market sources.
Demand in July and August was low, but generally within expectations for this typically quiet time of year. Demand rose in September in response to tighter supply conditions, with distributors saying that they received requests for material from buyers who would not usually contact them.
Supply of US butyl acetate (butac), which is a solvent used largely in the production of paint and coatings, mostly lengthened during the third quarter, despite a small uptick in buying interest at the outset of the period. The 2019 hurricane season continues through November, but it has not been highly interruptive to domestic butac production so far. Free-market contract pricing was mostly weaker during the quarter, tracking upstream propylene.
Buying interest for US butac continued to slow amid delayed and below-average downstream architectural and automobile coatings demand this year. Demand softened in line with the economic and weather-related headwinds that opened in 2019. Those factors and the market’s inability to catch completely up with year-ago volumes stretched butac inventories. Although Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, the season has not yet been interruptive to US butac production.
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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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