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 2019
Asia supply started out tight in the quarter due to scheduled maintenance at several plants. As production was freed up following the resumption of regular production in mid-November, supply became ample amid slow demand in the year-end. Exports of butac out of China was lower in Q4 2019 from the previous quarter, according to ICIS Supply and Demand data.
Demand for butac was steady for most of Q4 but tapered down in December as buyers replenished stocks on a need-to basis to keep inventory levels low at the year-end. Buying sentiment was dampened by declining co-feedstocks n-butanol and acetic acid prices in Asia during the quarter.
Butyl acetate (butac) supply was balanced to tight in the first half of Q4 due to limited availability from INEOS and BASF in October and previous supply disruptions during September. Supply rebalanced during November and became balanced-to-long in December as supply limitations eased and demand weakened ahead of year end. The European butac market is structurally long when its three major producers – BASF, Oxea and INEOS – are producing at typical rates.
Demand for butac was generally within or slightly below expectations during the final quarter of 2019. Demand seasonally decreased in November and December due to buyers managing inventories ahead of year end and market players taking holidays during the second half of December.
US supply of butyl acetate (butac), a solvent used largely as an intermediate in the production of paint and coatings, was balanced to longer in the fourth quarter of 2019 on seasonal weakness, despite a late-year uptick in buying interest from some distributors ahead of the Lunar New Year. Supply of butac generally outpaced demand during much of the fourth quarter, with pricing drifting lower during the period, tracking mostly weaker feedstock propylene.
Demand for US butac continued to be mostly weaker at the end of 2019 amid a delayed and largely flat downstream architectural and automobile coatings season. Along with seasonally weak demand during most of the quarter and a downtrend in butac precursor chemical-grade propylene (CGP) prices, butac pricing also trended lower. Although some latent butac demand surfaced ahead of major year-end holidays, it was attributed to some pre-buying ahead of the Lunar New Year in late January.
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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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