Asia etac rises on acetic acid gains; supply to stay limited

Author: Li Li Chng


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Ethyl acetate (etac) prices in Asia have risen on the back of upstream gains, with supply expected to stay lean amid potential production losses due to high cost and tight supply of feedstock acetic acid.

Aerial view of the port and logistics hub in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China. (Photo by Aleksandar PlavevskiI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Trades in northeast Asia may remain hampered by a wide gap in buying and selling ideas.

On 23 August, spot etac prices were assessed up on an average of $15-20/tonne week on week at $770-780/tonne CFR (cost & freight) SE (southeast); $7650-790/tonne CFR NE (northeast) Asia; and $730-740/tonne FOB (free on board) China, according to ICIS data.

Regional prices of feedstock acetic acid were stable to firm in the same week, buoyed by bullish domestic prices in China amid tight supply amid ongoing plant turnarounds.

In southeast Asia, re-stocking helped drive up etac prices as buyers were concerned about rising feedstock cost.

Several intra-regional deals were done, as southeast Asian cargoes were available at more competitive prices and have the advantage of shorter delivery time compared with Chinese-origin materials.

Downstream demand remains lukewarm and may further suffer blows, following recent escalation in the US-China trade war.

Export offers from China increased in view of rising domestic prices for the material.

Uncertainty also lingers over the current tight feedstock supply issues in China, which is the largest etac exporter in Asia.

Most market participants expect discussions to gain more traction this week.

Etac producers in China had raised offers to recoup margins amid cost pressures.

Increased offers led to a widening of the spread between etac and feedstock acetic acid to $290/tonne in the week ended 23 August, from $285/tonne in the previous week, according to ICIS data.

Etac is used on coatings, pharmaceuticals and solvents.

Focus article by Li Li Chng