China’s spot domestic acetic acid are at their highest in a decade and may remain firmly supported by tight supply, with producers exporting more volumes even amid a pick-up in local demand. Unexpected shutdowns at major acetic acid plants in the US and Asia have heightened demand for Chinese material in April and May. On 24 May, prices in east China stood at Chinese yuan (CNY) 5,450/tonne ex-tank ($853/tonne), surging by CNY880/tonne or 19.3% over a four-week period. Within China, supply is also tight due to a heavy turnaround schedule in the second quarter, with output loss estimated at more than 240,000 tonnes.
In the downstream ethyl acetate (etac) market, producers have been hiking prices since end-April to cover the increased cost of feestock acetic acid, dampening demand.
US Monument declares acetate force majeure on GAA issue --just the latest in a chain reaction of events stemming from BPs force majeure on acetic acid in late April . A few weeks later Dow declared a global force majeure on Vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) because BP is its main supplier of acetic acid, a major feedstock.
Also the spot prices for butac in Europe rose slightly in the week to 25 May. Butac prices were assessed at 1,130-1,160/tonne FD NWE, up 10/tonne on the high end of the range. Feedstock acetic acid and propylene costs are putting upwards pressure on prices.