The ICIS Ethyl Acetate reports are published in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis.
All regions cover the spot market, while in the US there is also a distributor price assessment. The independent pricing information is gathered locally by our network of reporters. Commentary and analysis covers regional activity, upstream news, production updates and graphs, ensuring you are equipped with the latest market movements when making your commercial judgements.
Updated to Q1 2019
Chinese etac producers operated at normal but low rates at the start of Q1 2019. Some plants shut or cut operation rates during the Lunar New Year period but run rates resumed healthy level after the holiday. A Chinese producer based in the Shandong province switched its butyl acetate production to etac, resulting in ample inventory. Southeast Asian supply was reduced as a regional plant underwent a one-month turnaround from end-February.
Demand in China improved in January on restocking activities ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in early February, in anticipation that feedstock acetic acid prices would increase due to upcoming turnarounds. Similarly, spot demand in January and February improved after 2018 year end destocking activities. Demand remained slow after holiday as end users digested their inventory slowly. However, as spot prices fell in March, spot transactions remained active on bottomed-out prices.
European supply of ethyl acetate (etac) remained balanced to long for much of the first quarter of the year, reaching a long condition in late March. The completed expansion of the INEOS site in Hull, UK has resulted in an additional 70,000/tonnes of annual production capacity compared with January 2018. Imported volumes attracted by higher prices in early February also contributed to lengthening supply conditions in early 2019.
Demand for etac largely remained quiet during the first quarter. Though demand is typically low in December due to destocking and Christmas holidays, demand was unexpectedly quiet during early 2019. Demand was particularly below expectations in March, when demand remained weak despite seasonal consumption typically beginning to increase at this time in advance of coatings season.
Supply of ethyl acetate (etac) was ample through the first quarter with a large amount of imports from Europe and Asia coming into the US early in the quarter. INEOS in the UK was a large part of the surge in imports, which then helped create a period of long supply. The increase in imports was to offset a shortage of material experienced through the end of 2018 and into 2019 from production issues.
Demand for etac in the US was stable while at least one producer operated under sales control due to the tight supply seen at the end of 2018 and into 2019. Although some say they backed off slightly due to elevated prices. However, the strength of demand can be seen in the large amount of imports that were sent to the US during the period of tight domestic supply.
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Ethyl Acetate Methodology
The major outlet for ethyl acetate (EAC) is coatings which account for 60% of demand. Process solvents, including pharmaceuticals and organic synthesis, account for 15% while printing inks are also estimated at 15%.
Ethyl acetate (etac) is a colourless, mobile, volatile liquid, with a characteristic pleasant fruity odour. It is highly flammable, soluble in ethyl alcohol and ether but slightly soluble in water.
It is used in a variety of coating formulations such as epoxies, urethanes, cellulosics, acrylics and vinyls. Applications for these coatings are numerous including wood furniture and fixtures, agricultural, construction and mining equipment, auto refinishing, and maintenance and marine uses.
Ethyl acetate has applications as a solvent in inks for flexographic and rotogravure printing. It is used as an extraction solvent in the production of pharmaceuticals and food, and as a carrier solvent for herbicides. High purity product can be used as a viscosity reducer for resins used in photoresist formulations in the electronics industry.
As an active solvent, etac is available in three grades: 85-88%, 99% and 99.5% (urethane grade). The most popular is 99% grade which is chiefly used in industrial lacquers and enamels.
Miscellaneous uses of etac include adhesives and cosmetics.
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