The European butyl acetate market remains balanced and prices are holding at October’s levels, shrugging off a decline in the propylene price, industry sources said this week.
Butac was assessed at Eur1,080/mt FD NWE this week, compared to a Eur1,070-1,095/mt price range in October, as tight availability helped to offset a pull downwards from feedstock.
The contract price for propylene, a feedstock for butanol the precursor of butac, was settled at a Eur30/mt decrease this month at Eur1,080/mt.
“There is not oversupply, which is why we are still able to sell butac at Eur1,077-1,080/mt, despite a decrease in feedstocks,” a distributor said.
Even though demand for butac remains sluggish, similar to most other oxygenated solvents, the supply appeared to have adjusted too, with production rates across the industry estimated by one trader at 60-75%.
“Most producers have decreased run rates to match the demand,” a trader said. “Butac is expensive to produce, so when prices are not decent, producers just stop making it, and either put butanol into other applications or sell it on.”
In Europe, butac is produced by BASF in Ludwigshafen, Celanese in Frankfurt and Oxea in Marl, Germany, and Ineos Oxide in Antwerp, Belgium.