Ethyl acetate (ETAC) & butyl acetate (BUTAC)

Discover the key elements driving acetic acid derivative markets 

Discover the factors influencing ethyl acetate (ETAC) & butyl acetate (BUTAC) markets

Industrial chemicals remain in demand from a broad cross-section of sectors including pharmaceutical, automotive and manufacturing. Supply fluctuations constantly put pressure on etac/butac markets and drive price movements. For traders, producers and buyers of acetic acid derivatives, keeping track of the many shifts in this changeable landscape is difficult without a reliable source of market intelligence. A source that covers all the key etac/butac markets around the world and completes the picture with details of the upstream and downstream position.

By leveraging our global resources, we put local developments into an international context and ensure you are fully aware of market dynamics as they evolve. We stay close to all day-to-day activity in each region, keeping track of pricing movements and the various factors driving them up or down. Our market intelligence gives you complete visibility of opportunities arising and ensures you can act quickly.

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Ethyl acetate (ETAC) & butyl acetate (BUTAC) news

APIC '24: PODCAST: Asia C3 derivative demand still slow amid uncertainty

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's oxo-alcohols buyers maintained a wait-and-watch approach on the market amid possibility of added plant capacities in China. The acrylonitrile (ACN) market continues to see limited spot demand in northeast Asia. Even with recent higher production rates at downstream acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plants, ACN producers were unlikely to increase operating rates. For the acrylates downstream, butyl-A market in Asia continues to take direction from Chinese domestic prices. With India's Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) requirements preventing Chinese-origin imports, cargoes from China were flowing into southeast Asia and northeast Asia. In this podcast, ICIS editors Julia Tan and Corey Chew discuss trends in the Asia propylene (C3) and derivatives markets. (This podcast first ran on 15 May.) Visit ICIS during APIC ’24 on 30-31 May at Booth 13, Grand Ballroom Foyer of the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in South Korea. Book a meeting with ICIS here.

28-May-2024

Freight rates on China exports soar amid Red Sea crisis

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Freight rates for China's exports, including petrochemicals, have been spiking in recent weeks and are expected to remain firm in the next three to six months on the back of improving overseas demand and amid continued logistics disruptions in the Middle East. Geopolitical tensions translate to higher shipping cost, longer delivery time Container shortages intensifying in China Freight rates to remain firm on strong western demand Most ocean carriers have halted transits in the Red Sea, which is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia, fearing missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. They have opted to take the longer route via the Cape of Good Hope, resulting in much longer time and costs for moving cargoes to their destinations. The Red Sea crisis is showing no signs of de-escalation, with the latest casualty being the Panama-flagged oil tanker M/T Wind bound for China, which was struck by a Houthi-launched ballistic missile on 18 May. Logistics and supply chain disruptions are expected to continue. Dutch shipping giant Maersk had said on 6 May that its vessels have been forced to lengthen their journey further because of the expanded risk zone and attacks reaching further offshore in the Rea Sea. “The knock-on effects of the situation have included bottlenecks and vessel bunching, as well as delays and equipment and capacity shortages,” the company had said, estimating an industrywide capacity loss of 15-20% on the Far East-to-North Europe and Mediterranean market during the second quarter. CONTAINERS/VESSEL SPACE IN SEVERE SHORTAGE As carriers now need longer time to come back from destinations, the resulting severe shortage of containers and vessel space was triggering sharp spikes in freight rates. From Shanghai to the US west coast and the US east coast, freight rates on 17 May jumped to $5,025/forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU), and $6,026/FEU, respectively, up by 14.4% and 8.3% week on week, according to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. To South America from China’s financial capital, the shipping cost increased at a sharper rate of 22.4%, while to Europe, freight rates rose by 6.3%, the data showed. A shipping broker said that China-to-Europe freights have been soaring by $500-$800/FEU each week since late April, while a polypropylene (PP) trader noted that the rates to West Africa more than tripled to $8,000/FEU, more than a fourfold increase from $1,500-$2,000/FEU rates in early April. “We now need to wait 10-15 days for booking containers. We face severe stockpiling and warehouses are flooded with cargoes waiting for shipment,” said a marketing manager of a Shenzhen-based logistics company. A plastic bag factory in east China is currently stuck with high inventories and risk suspending production, a source from the company said For vinyl acetate producers, a shortage of shipping tanks prevents them from exporting more cargoes, providing them with the less-efficient means of bulk shipments with other products as the only alternative. ROBUST WESTERN DEMAND SUPPORTS FIRM RATES The recent spike in freight rates came as a surprise to players in the petrochemical industry as the May-June period is normally a lull season for Chinese exports. Besides the Red Sea crisis, strong demand coming from the west underlies the recent surge in freight rates. “July-September is the peak season for China-to-West shipping. With [the] destocking last year, Europe and US markets demand are expected to rise substantially before the Christmas [season in December],” said Wang Guowen, director of Shenzhen Logistics and Supply Chain Management Research. “Plus, Europe and UK central banks are expected to cut interest rates, which will further stimulate consumptions there,” he added, noting that demand from both Europe and the US will remain strong rest of the year. This will continue to buoy up shipping rates, which are projected to hover at high rates over the next three to six months, industry sources said. On 16 May, Maersk announced a hike in peak season surcharge (PSS) for major east-to-west shipping lanes, including the China-to-Dar es Salaam, Tanzania route, PPS for which increased to $1,500/FEU since 20 May. Meanwhile, French shipping and logistics major CMA CGM plan to hike its Asia-to-northern Europe freights to $6,000/FEU, effective 1 June. Current container production in China could not catch up with strong demand. New China-manufactured containers to be delivered before late June have been sold out, a source at domestic logistics company said. Wang of Shenzhen Logistics and Supply Chain Management Research, however, noted that the present container shortage is not about undersupply but more about the sharp slowdown in turnover amid the global logistics disruptions. Tight shipping conditions are expected to prevail in the third quarter as demand is expected to peak, with a gradual easing of freight rates likely in the fourth quarter, he said. Focus article by Fanny Zhang Additional reporting by Joanne Wang and Lucy Shuai Thumbnail image: At the container terminal of Yantian Port in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province in south China, 16 May 2024 (Shutterstock)

22-May-2024

Brazil's Braskem restart at Triunfo to kick off petchem hub normalization

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Braskem has restarted operations at its Triunfo facility in the flood-hit state of Rio Grande do Sul, which will allow other players in the petrochemicals hub to start up their plants as many depend on input from the Brazilian polymers major to operate. On Monday (20 May), Braskem said it would restart its units at Triunfo – where the producer has around one-third of its Brazilian production capacity – with the expected process to take around two weeks. A spokesperson for Innova told ICIS that the styrenics producer’s plants at Triunfo were ready to begin operations as soon as Braskem, which supplies Innova with key feedstock benzene, had started up. The spokesperson did not respond to questions about the financial hit Innova would suffer from the Triunfo outage, but said it had been able to its supply customers with material from its other units in Brazil. “For polystyrene [PS], for instance, our Manaus production unit was able to absorb the tonnage previously allocated to Triunfo, so that we could avoid any negative impact on our customers," said the spokesperson. Meanwhile, a source at Innova told ICIS late on Monday that it aims to restart its PS, styrene, and ethyl benzene (EB) plants on 22-23 May. However, due to low production volumes, it would be prioritizing customers in Brazil rather than exporting any material. The restart process, however, may not be without hiccups. A source in Brazil's petrochemicals industry said on Tuesday that highway BR-386, a 525-kilometer road linking Porto Alegre with the interior of the state as well as the south of Santa Catarina state, remains partially blocked. "Drainage is still a problem. The blockage of the BR-386 and the lack of trucks are making distribution very difficult," said the source. "Yesterday [Monday], they managed to dispatch 15 trucks out of Triunfo, while the daily average on normal days stands at around 400 trucks." THE BEGINNING OF THE ENDIn what has become one of Brazil’s worst flooding disasters, the state of Rio Grande do Sul came to a standstill on 29 April with hundreds of roads blocked, widespread landslides and a dam collapse. As of Monday, the floods had caused 157 deaths while another 88 people are unaccounted for, according to Rio Grande do Sul’s emergency services. Over 76,000 people are still taking refuge in shelters, while nearly 600,000 have been displaced from their homes. In the 12-million people state, nearly 2.5 million have been affected by the floods which have badly hurt its economy. Although  petrochemicals plants at Triunfo have not been damaged by the flooding, access to them became almost impossible at the peak of the crisis. This forced companies in the hub to declare force majeure, including Braskem, Innova, and styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) producer Arlanxeo. As of Tuesday, none of the force majeures had officially been lifted. Indorama’s subsidiary in Brazil said it was idling its plants, although it has yet to declare force majeure. A spokesperson for Indorama told ICIS that the situation at its plants remains unchanged from last week. Arlanxeo had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing. Although petrochemical facilities at Triunfo are restarting, other industrial players are still reeling from the floods with widespread stoppages. Earlier this week, automotive global majors Volkswagen (VW) and Stellantis said they were stopping production at some Brazilian and Argentinian plants due to a lack of input from automotive parts producers in Rio Grande do Sul. Meanwhile, fertilizers players have said to ICIS that demand could be hit, potentially resulting in lower prices as Rio Grande do Sul is also a major agricultural state in Brazil. Analysts at S&P Global said that while petrochemicals producers in the state may be spared from a large financial hit, fertilizers players are likely to be more negatively affected. Front page picture: Braskem's facilities at the Triunfo petrochemicals hub in Rio Grande do Sul Source: Braskem Additional reporting by Bruno Menini

21-May-2024

PODCAST: Asia propylene derivative demand still slow amid uncertainty

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian oxo-alcohols buyers maintained a wait and watch approach, amid the possibility of added plant capacities in China weighing on market sentiment. The acrylonitrile (ACN) market continues to see limited spot demand in the northeast Asia market. Even as downstream acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) has seen higher production rates recently, ACN producers were unlikely to increase operating rates. For the acrylates downstream, butyl-A market in Asia continues to take direction from Chinese domestic prices. With India's Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) requirements preventing Chinese origin imports, cargoes from China were flowing into SE Asia and NE Asia. In this podcast, ICIS editors Julia Tan and Corey Chew discuss trends in the Asia propylene and derivatives markets. Visit ICIS during APIC ’24 on 30-31 May at Booth 13 in the Grand Ballroom Foyer in the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas. Book a meeting with ICIS here.

15-May-2024

Asia top stories – weekly summary

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 10 May 2024. PODCAST: APIC ‘24: Asia recycled plastics sees sustainable finance focus By Damini Dabholkar 10-May-24 12:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Sustainable finance is a key interest for companies seeking to enter the recycled plastics market in Asia or to expand their current capacities. Despite the various financial instruments available, the absence of a clear entry point often results in uncertainty for firms. In this podcast, ICIS analysts Chua Xin Nee and Joshua Tan explore the different types of sustainability-related loans available and their successful use cases. China-SE Asia arbitrage flow for MTBE unworkable on oil price falls By Keven Zhang 10-May-24 11:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The arbitrage of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from China to southeast Asia can be reopened, after blenders in southeast Asia finish consuming their existing inventory. PODCAST: Weak demand expected for Asia propylene and downstream PO By Damini Dabholkar 09-May-24 15:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia's propylene market will continue to see weak demand, although potential curbs in plant run rates in China amid weak margins could lend support. China exports return to growth in April amid signs of improving demand By Nurluqman Suratman 09-May-24 14:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s April exports rose by 1.5% year on year to $292.5 billion in April, reversing the 7.5% contraction in March supported by signs of improved global demand, customs data showed on Thursday. China petrochemical market edges up in Apr, demand outlook remains weak By Yvonne Shi 08-May-24 13:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s petrochemical market edged up in April, with the ICIS China Petrochemical Index – which tracks 17 key products in the domestic market – rising slightly by 1.60% to 1267.60 by the end of the month as compared with March. Singapore April manufacturing slows amid persistent external headwinds By Nurluqman Suratman 07-May-24 11:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Singapore’s manufacturing activity fell in April as a result of decreased export orders triggered by external demand headwinds and high global interest rates. NE Asia C3 talks to kick off, but supply concerns weigh on buyers By Julia Tan 06-May-24 12:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Discussions for June arrivals will kick off as China returns from the Labour Day holidays, even with the potential headwinds of poor downstream demand and ample supply from Southeast Asia.

13-May-2024

Brazil’s Indorama suspends operations at Triunfo, ports still closed, fertilizers demand to be hit

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Brazil’s state of Rio Grande do Sul remains at a standstill from the floods, with Thai petrochemicals major Indorama’s subsidiary in the country also suspending operations at its Triunfo facilities, a spokesperson confirmed to ICIS. Two main ports in Brazil’s southernmost state remain closed, while fertilizers players have said demand is likely to be hit on the back of a reduced planting season. A spokesperson for Indorama said the company had suspended operations at Triunfo on 3 May until further notice. Indorama's operations in Brazil are the result from its acquisition of Oxiteno and operates at Triunfo a methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) plant with a production capacity of 42,000 tonnes/year and a butene-2 plant with capacity at 42,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS Supply & Demand. “Initially, we ensured that the emergency shutdown was carried out safely. Currently, we are carefully assessing the weather and logistical conditions, as well as the guidance from the relevant authorities, to determine the short, medium and long-term impacts [of the suspension],” said the Indorama spokesperson. Earlier in the week, Brazil’s polymers producer Braskem and styrenics producer Innova declared force majeure from its operations in Triunfo, as did styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) producer Arlanxeo. Official figures on Friday put the dead toll at 116, with more than 130 people still unaccounted for, while more than 100,000 remain displaced from their homes and nearly two million people in the 12-million-strong state are being affected by Brazil’s worst floods in nearly a century. To make matters worse, rains returned to Rio Grande do Sul by the latter part of the week, forcing authorities to suspend some rescue operations. Brazilians this week have kicked off a remarkable national mobilization to help alleviate the disruption gauchos – as citizens from Rio do Grande do Sul are known in Portuguese – are going through. From workplaces to residential buildings, from civil associations to companies, there is practically no place in the country where an effort to collect goods, food and money is not being deployed. PORTS CLOSED, AGRICULTURE HITThe Port Authority for Rio Grande do Sul, called Portos RS and which oversees operations at the Port of Rio Grande, Port of Pelotas and Port of Porto Alegre, said operations at the two latter facilities remain shut to traffic. The Port of Rio Grande is operating normally, it added. “[Portos RS] maintains operations at the Port of Porto Alegre suspended, due to the maintenance of the level of Lake Guaiba above the so-called flood level. At the Port of Pelotas, in the south of the state, the shipment of wood logs remains suspended and activities are paralyzed at the terminal,” the Authority said. “Regarding the crossing to Sao Jose do Norte [a city north of Porto Alegre], the vehicle and passenger transport service is suspended due to the high level of Laguna dos Patos.” This week, several fertilizers players said to ICIS demand is likely to be hit as planting for some crops which had just started is likely to be delayed, postpone, or cancelled. Moreover, seeds recently planted could also get damaged by high levels of moisture, potentially ruining their harvest. “There has been great damage to infrastructure in the state, with fertilizers mixers underwater and authorities still calculating the impacts,” said an urea trader. “The rice harvest is almost done, but wheat planting is in its early days and producers of urea believe demand destruction can happen due to the circumstances.” Another fertilizers source added that around 70% of soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul had already been harvested, but there is still 30% to be harvested which would now be at risk. It added that 30% would represent approximately 6.5 million tonnes of soybeans, or 5% of Brazil’s total production. Rio Grande do Sul is the main rice producer in Brazil, and the source said the harvest for that crop was already behind schedule when the rains started, with 78% harvested. “We estimate that the unharvested volume should significantly affect the supply of rice in Brazil, increasing the upward pressure on prices, “the source said. “Corn was also in the process of being harvested, with an estimated 83% harvested by the time the rains started. It is not possible yet to estimate precisely how much of this amount at risk has been lost.” Front page picture: Voluntaries working in Rio Grande do Sul organizing donations Source: Government of Rio Grande do Sul Additional reporting by Bruno Menini, Deepika Thapliyal and Chris Vlachopoulos

10-May-2024

LOGISTICS: Container rates rise for first time since January; Canadian rail workers vote to strike

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Global average rates for shipping containers rose for the first time since January, workers at freight rail carriers Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) have voted in favor of a strike, and the US regulator that oversees railroads finalized a rule allowing reciprocal switching, highlighting this week’s logistics roundup. CONTAINER RATES Shipping container rates have been rising steadily since December when attacks by Houthi rebels on commercial vessels in the Red Sea forced carriers to take the longer route around the tip of the African continent before leveling off last week. This week, the global average for 40-foot shipping containers rose by 1%, according to supply chain advisors Drewry and as shown in the following chart. Rates from Shanghai to the US East Coast edged slightly higher, but rates from China to the West Coast edged slightly lower, as shown in the following chart. Judah Levine, head of research at online freight shipping marketplace and platform provider Freightos, said that the overall container market has settled into a new routine that avoids the Red Sea. “Though significant backlogs, congestion and equipment shortages seen during the first few weeks of the crisis have dissipated, adjustments have resulted in some moderate but ongoing disruptions,” Levine said in a weekly update. He said that even after falling drastically since the beginning of the year, prices remain well above normal and are likely to increase relative to this new floor as demand is set to increase for peak season. Container ships and costs for shipping containers are relevant to the chemical industry because while most chemicals are liquids and are shipped in tankers, container ships transport polymers, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), are shipped in pellets. They also transport liquid chemicals in isotanks. LIQUID CHEMICAL TANKERS US liquid chemical tanker freight rates assessed by ICIS were unchanged this week. From the US Gulf (USG) to Asia, the market has been quieter this week as a holiday-shortened week has sidelined some key players. There have been only a few parcels quoted, which is placing downward pressure on freight rates for smaller lots. Larger base cargoes of monoethylene glycol (MEG), methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), and methanol have been popular chemicals on this route, keeping larger freight rates steady. From the USG to India, the market has been very quiet. PORT OF BALTIMORE Since the opening of a fourth channel into the Port of Baltimore, 171 commercial vessels have transited the waterway, including five of the vessels that were trapped inside the port after the containership Dali struck the Key Bridge, causing it to collapse, according to the Unified Command (UC). The MSC Passion III entered the port on 29 April, according to vesselfinder.com, making it the first container ship to enter the port since the accident. The closing of the port did not have a significant impact on the chemicals industry as chemicals make up only about 4% of total tonnage that moves through the port, according to data from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The ACC said less than 1% of all chemicals involved in waterborne commerce, both domestic and trade volumes, pass through Baltimore. But a market participant in Ohio told ICIS previously that it is seeing delays in delivery times for imports as vessels originally destined to offload in Baltimore are getting re-routed to other ports. PANAMA CANAL Wait times for non-booked vessels ready for transit edged for higher both directions this week, according to the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) vessel tracker and as shown in the following image. Wait times a week ago were 2.5 days for northbound traffic and 5.6 for southbound traffic. The PCA will increase the number of slots available for Panamax vessels to transit the waterway beginning 16 May and will add another slot for Neopanamax vessels on 1 June based on the present and projected water levels in Gatun Lake. RAILROADS Workers at freight rail carriers Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) have voted in favor of a strike. A first work stoppage could occur as early as 22 May, if no new collective agreements are reached by then, officials at labor union Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) said in a televised announcement on 1 May. The rail carriers warned that a work stoppage would disrupt supply chains throughout North America and constrain trade between Canada and the US and Mexico. The two railroads account for the bulk of freight rail traffic in Canada. Meanwhile, chemical industry participants were largely supportive of a final rule adopted by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on reciprocal switching for inadequate service by railroads, but think the scope was too narrow and it does not cover a significant portion of rail traffic. For the first time, the STB said it is requiring that three service metrics be maintained on a standardized basis across all Class 1 railroads. In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail. Rail is also the predominant shipping method for US ethanol. Additional reporting by Kevin Callahan and Stefan Baumgarten Please see the Logistics: Impact on chemicals and energy topic page

03-May-2024

Besieged by imports, Brazil’s chemicals put hopes on hefty import tariffs hike

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Brazilian chemicals producers are lobbying hard for an increase in import tariffs for key polymers and petrochemicals from 12.6% to 20%, and higher in cases, hoping the hike could slow down the influx of cheap imports, which have put them against the wall. For some products, Brazil’s chemicals trade group Abiquim, which represents producers, has made official requests for the import tariffs to go up to a hefty 35%, from 9% in some cases. On Tuesday, Abiquim said several of its member companies “are already talking about hibernating plants” due to unprofitable economics. It did so after it published another set of somber statistics for the first quarter, when imports continued entering Brazil em masse. Brazil’s government Chamber of Foreign Commerce (Camex) is concluding on Tuesday a public consultation about this, with its decision expected in coming weeks. Abiquim has been busy with the public consultation: it has made as many as 66 proposals for import tariffs to be hiked for several petrochemicals and fertilizers, including widely used polymers such polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), or expandable PS (EPS), to mention just a few. Other chemicals trade groups, as well as companies, have also filed requests for import tariffs to be increased. In total, 110 import tariffs. HARD TO FIGHT OFFBrazil has always depended on imports to cover its internal chemicals demand, but the extraordinary low prices coming from competitors abroad has made Brazil’s chemicals plant to run with operating rates of 65% or lower. More and more, the country’s chemicals facilities are becoming white elephants which are far from their potential, as customers find in imported product more competitive pricing. Considering this dire situation and taking into account that the current government in Brasilia led by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may be more receptive to their demands, Abiquim has put a good fight in publica and private for measure which could shore up chemical producers’ competitiveness. This could come after the government already hiked import tariffs on several products in 2023 and re-introduced a tax break, called REIQ, for some chemicals which had been withdrawn by the previous Administration. While Brazil’s chemicals production competitiveness is mostly affected by higher input costs, with natural gas costs on average five times higher than in the US, the industry is hopeful a helping hand from the government in the form of higher import tariffs could slow down the flow of imports into Brazil. As a ‘price taker region’ given its dependence on imports, Latin American domestic producers have taken a hit in the past two years. In Brazil, polymers major Braskem is Abiquim’s commanding voice. Abiquim, obviously, has always been very outspoken – even apocalyptic – about the fate of its members as they try to compete with overseas countries, namely China who has been sending abroad product at below cost of production. The priorities in China’s dictatorial system are not related to the balance of markets, but to keep employment levels stable so its citizens find fewer excuses to protest against the regime which keeps them oppressed. Capitalist market dynamics are for the rest of the world to balance; in China’s dictatorial, controlled-economy regime the priority is to make people feel the regime’s legitimacy can come from never-ending economic growth. The results of such a policy for the rest of the world – not just in chemicals but in all industrial goods – is becoming clear: unprofitable industries which cannot really compete with heavily subsidized Chinese players. The results of such a policy in China are yet to be seen, but subsiding at all costs any industry which creates employment may have debt-related lasting consequences: as they mantra goes, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Abiquim’s executive president urged Lula’s cabinet to look north, to the US, where the government has imposed hefty tariffs on almost all China-produced industrial goods or raw materials for manufacturing production. “[The hikes in import tariffs] have improved the US’ scenario: despite the aggressive advance in exports by Asian countries, the drop in US [chemicals] production in 2023 was of 1%, while in Brazil the index for production fell nearly by 10%,” said Andre Passos. “The country adopted an increase in import taxes of over 30% to defend its market from unfair competition. The taxation for some inputs, such as phenol, resins and adipic [acid], for example, exceeds three digits. “Here, we are suggesting an increase in rates to 20% in most claims … We need to have this breathing space for the industry to recover,” he concluded. As such, the figures for the first quarter showed no sign of imports into Brazil slowing down. The country posted a trade deficit $9.9 billion during the January-March period; the 12-month accumulated (April 2023 to March 2024) deficit stood at $44.7 billion. A record high of 61.2 million tonnes of chemicals products entered Brazil in Q1; in turn, the country’s industry exported 14.6 million tonnes. Abiquim proposals for higher import tariffs Product Current import tariff Proposed tariff Expandable polystyrene, unfilled, in primary form 12.6% 20% Other polystyrenes in primary forms 12.6% 20% Carboxymethylcellulose with content > =75%, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Other polyurethanes in liquids and pastes 12.6% 20% Phthalic anhydride 10.8% 20%  Sodium hydrogen carbonate (bicarbonate) 9% 35% Copolymers of ethylene and alpha-olefin, with a density of less than 0.94 12.6% 20% Other orthophthalic acid esters 11% 20% Other styrene polymers, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Other silicon dioxides 0% 18% Other polyesters in liquids and pastes  12.6% 20% Commercial ammonium carbonates and other ammonium carbonates 9% 18% Other unsaturated polyethers, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Polyethylene terephthalate, with a viscosity index of 78 ml/g or more 12.6% 20% Phosphoric acid with an iron content of less than 750 ppm 9% 18% Dinonyl or didecyl orthophthalates 11% 20% Poly(vinyl chloride), not mixed with other substances, obtained by suspension process 12.6% 20% Poly(vinyl chloride), not mixed with other substances, obtained by emulsion process 12.6% 20% Methyl polymethacrylate, in primary form  12.6% 20% White mineral oils (vaseline or paraffin oils) 4% 35% Other polyetherpolyols, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Other unfilled epoxy resins in primary forms 12.6% 20% Silicon dioxide obtained by chemical precipitation 9% 18% Acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber in plates, sheets, etc 11% 35% Other organic anionic surface agents, whether or not put up for retail sale, not classified under previous codes 12.6% 23% Phenol (hydroxybenzene) and its salts 7% 20% Fumaric acid, its salts and esters 10 ,8% 20% Plasticizers and plastics 10 ,8% 20% Maleic anhydride 10 ,8% 20% Adipic acid salts and esters 10 ,8% 20% Propylene copolymers, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Adipic acid 9% 20% Unfilled polypropylene, in primary form 12.6% 20% Filled polypropylene, in primary form 12.6% 20% Methacrylic acid methyl esters 10 ,8% 20% Other ethylene polymers, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Acrylic acid 2-ethylhexyl esters 0% 20% 2-Ethylexanoic acid (2-ethylexoic acid) 10. 8% 20% Other copolymers of ethylene and vinyl acetate, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Other unfilled polyethylenes, density >= 0.94, in primary forms 12.6% 20% Polyethylene with a density of less than 0.94, unfilled 12.6% 20% Other saturated acyclic monoalcohol acetates, c atom <= 8 10. 8% 20% Polyethylene with a density of less than 0.94, with filler 12.6% 20% Triacetin 10. 8% 20% Sodium methylate in methanol 12.6% 20% Stearic alcohol (industrial fatty alcohol) 12.6% 20% N-butyl acetate                              11% 20% Stearic acid (industrial monocarboxylic fatty acid) 5% 35% Alkylbenzene mixtures 11% 20% Organic, non-ionic surface agents 12.6% 23% Ammonium nitrate, whether or not in aqueous solution 0.0% 15% Monoethanolamine and its salts 12.6% 20% Isobutyl alcohol (2-methyl-1-propanol) 10.8% 20% Butan-1-ol (n-butyl alcohol) 10.8% 20% Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), food grade as established by the Food Chemical Codex, in primary forms 10.8% 22% Styrene                                9% 18% Hexamethylenediamine and its salts 10.8% 20% Latex from other synthetic or artificial rubbers 10.8% 35% Propylene glycol (propane-1, 2-diol) 10.8% 20% Preparations 12.6% 20% Linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acids and their salts 12.6% 23% 4,4'-Isopropylidenediphenol (bisphenol A, diphenylolpropane) and its salts 10.8% 20% Dipropylene glycol 12.6% 20% Butanone (methyl ethyl ketone) 10.8% 20% Ethyl acetate                                 10.8% 20% Methyl-, ethyl- and propylcellulose, hydroxylated 0.0% 20% Front page picture: Chemical production facilities outside Sao Paulo  Source: Union of Chemical and Petrochemical industries in the state of Sao Paulo (Sinproquim) Focus article by Jonathan Lopez Additional information by Thais Matsuda and Bruno Menini

30-Apr-2024

Asia top stories – weekly summary

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 26 April 2024. Thailand's SCG Q1 net profit slumps 85%; eyes better H2 conditions By Nurluqman Suratman 26-Apr-24 12:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Siam Cement Group (SCG) posted an 85% year-on-year decline in Q1 net profit on losses from chemicals operations, but the Thai conglomerate expects the segment’s earnings to recover in H2 on improved olefins demand and expected restart of its Vietnam petrochemical complex. China VAM exports jump; shipments to India surge in Q2 By Hwee Hwee Tan 25-Apr-24 13:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) spot offers have tumbled, boosting buying interest in its outbound cargoes, and lifting its exports to India to a multi-month high into the second quarter. SE Asia PE May offers mostly rangebound; demand still weak By Izham Ahmad 24-Apr-24 14:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Initial spot import offers for May shipments of polyethylene (PE) in southeast Asia were announced mostly rangebound so far in the week, while buying interest remained under pressure near recent lows. Saudi Aramco eyes stake in Hengli Petrochemical; prowls for more China investments By Fanny Zhang 23-Apr-24 14:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Aramco continues its quest for downstream petrochemical investments in the world’s second-biggest economy, adding Hengli Petrochemical in a list of target companies in which the global energy giant intends to acquire a strategic stake. PODCAST: Production constraints keep Asian BD spot trades buoyant in Q1, demand outlook mixed By Damini Dabholkar 22-Apr-24 17:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Persistent production constraints have driven Asia’s spot prices for butadiene (BD) to near two-year-high levels, but how the rally goes from here may hinge on downstream demand conditions. CHINAPLAS ’24: PODCAST: China PP exports strong, imports weak in Q1 By Sijia Li 22-Apr-24 16:23 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–ICIS analyst Sijia Li and senior industry analyst Joanne Wang discuss developments in China's polyolefins market.

29-Apr-2024

Americas top stories: weekly summary

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News from the week ended 15 March. US CPI inflation 'sticky' at 3.2%, may delay Fed rate cuts – ICIS economist US inflation, as measured by the consumer prices index (CPI), rose 0.4% month on month in February, leaving it up 3.2% year on year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Tuesday. LyondellBasell sees signs of modest improvement in Q1 – CEO LyondellBasell is seeing some indications of modest improvement in its businesses, particularly in North America and Europe, with packaging being the strongest end market, its CEO said on Wednesday. US Trinseo seeks to sell stake in AmSty Trinseo has started the process to sell its 50% stake in Americas Styrenics (AmSty), the US-based engineered materials producer said on Wednesday. US outage to boost March Asia-Atlantic spot acetic acid, VAM trades Asia-Atlantic spot trades for acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) are expected to increase after supply gaps in the US and Europe emerged following an unexpected plant outage in the US. Potential for oil market deficit in 2024 as demand expectations grow – IEA Higher oil demand expectations and fresh production cuts from the OPEC+ alliance could push the 2024 crude market balance from a surplus to a slight deficit if the voluntary reductions remain in place for the rest of the year, according to the International Energy Agency. INSIGHT: US aromatics, refining output recedes as peak oil approaches Peak oil demand in the US could lead to a further decline in refining capacity, which will tighten supplies of benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX) for downstream chemical producers. Unipar expects hardship in Argentina but Brazil PVC demand should recover Unipar’s operations in Argentina are set to face pressure from the current recession but a bright spot could appear in higher civil engineering activity in Brazil, propping up demand for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the Brazilian chemicals producer said on Friday.

18-Mar-2024

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