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 Q4 2020
Asia-Pacific ethyl acetate (etac) spot cargo availability was tight during the fourth quarter, owing to shutdowns in upstream acetic acid facilities, both planned and unplanned. Market fundamentals were firm while several producers of etac in southeast Asia and China operated their plants mostly at below full capacity.
Asia-Pacific ethyl acetate (etac) demand was healthy during most of the fourth quarter. Against a backdrop of constrained spot supply availability, regional importers stepped up to secure etac cargoes amid restocking activity, supporting the market as a whole. Healthy Chinese domestic demand lifted market sentiment on the import front.
Supply of etac tightened sharply in late October following an unplanned plant shutdown and declaration of force majeure from major producer INEOS. INEOS accounts for 87% of western European capacity, and the shortfall cannot be made up with domestic material. Previously unattractive European prices and lead times of four to eight weeks limited the opportunity for importers to resupply. Supply was restricted for the rest of the quarter, though pressure on supply eased during the year-end lull in December.
Demand was steady for most of October. INEOS’s declaration of force majeure resulted in an increase in demand for spot material as buyers looked to secure material to replace their disrupted contract volumes. Demand was good through November but decreased in December as the market stabilised, in line with the typical seasonal lull seen around the year-end holidays.
Supply in Q4 continued to fall as much of feedstock industrial ethanol was diverted to hand sanitizer production, leaving little product available for etac production. Some upstream acetic acid production issues also constrained production.
Demand in Q4 remained elevated as consumer preferences shifted to more flexible packaging as the coronavirus continued to spread across the US. The increased demand coupled with tight supply has pressured the market
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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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