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 Q3 2019
Asian ethyl acetate (etac) supply was curtailed. In the key producing market, China, producers kept operation at reduced rates on poor margins and weak downstream consumption. There were also several plant outages in the quarter, keeping supply lean. Supply availability and firm costs of raw material acetic acid, due to plant outages, were also a concern for etac producers. Sporadic Asian cargoes were heard diverted to Europe on a force majeure at INEOS’ UK plant.
Asian demand remained subdued, although replenishing activities proceeded as usual. Import distributors in southeast Asia largely carried ample inventory. Intense competition curbed price increase in their domestic markets amid weak end-users’ demand. Importers were thus cautious amid a price uptrend in the quarter. The escalating US-China trade war impacted buying sentiment, with many Asian currencies weaker against the US dollar. In northeast Asia, the downstream paint and coating sector experienced a seasonal summer lull period.
European supply of ethyl acetate (etac) rebalanced in July on reduced length in domestic supply and limited import activity. Supply tightened in August following an unplanned shutdown and force majeure from INEOS’s Hull, UK site – the largest producer of etac in Europe. Availability of material was generally balanced to tight for the rest of the quarter as weak demand limited pressure on supply of etac
Demand increased in July on rising prices and reduced length in supply. Buyers purchased material to avoid the risk of further price increases. This was in contrast to buying patterns earlier this year, when long supply and stable-to-soft pricing encouraged buyers to delay purchases and buy only necessary volumes. Demand increased immediately following INEOS’s declaration of force majeure in August. However, underlying consumption remained weak throughout the quarter.
Supply of ethyl acetate (etac) was mixed in the third quarter as Europe faced an upstream force majeure that impacted downstream supply. Supply was initially ample in the quarter and then imports of etac lessened as global supply tightened, which placed pressure on the US market.
Demand for etac in the third quarter strengthened despite the end to the construction season and persistently weak demand seen in 2019. Despite no construction season emerging in 2019, demand picked up as downstream demand for etac rose.
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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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