Mixed Dynamics of Regional Butyl Acetate Markets

The current dynamics of the regional butyl acetate markets is varied. In early July 2019, the European butyl acetate market was rather stable with ample supply and poor demand from the end-markets. Major butyl acetate manufacturers, like Oxea (a 140,000 mty facility in Marl, Germany) or Ineos (a 95,000 mty facility in Antwerp, Belgium, formerly owned by BP), finalized their turnarounds and were able to provide sufficient amounts of the product for the market. However, force majeure situations (like those occurring at Oxea’s upstream facilities in 2017 and 2018 or at BASF’s facility in Ludwigshafen in 2017) may violate this state of balance at any time.

Oxea remains the largest producer of butyl acetate in Europe, and any serious issues at its facilities will immediately impact butyl acetate availability and its prices like this happened in 2017 when spot prices for butyl acetate spiked from the mid-€900s/tonne to €1,500/tonne. Oxea also operates an oxo chemicals production site in Oberhausen, Germany with a 130,000 n-butanol production capacity, so Oxea is a vivid example of a vertically integrated company, which caters for major elements of its production chains.

Top five butyl acetate manufacturers in Europe

On the contrary, the US butyl acetate market, starting from early 2019 to July 2019, was showing the increased demand for butyl acetate. The US automotive and coatings industries (which consume up to 90% of butyl acetate) are on the rise, pushing the demand for butyl acetate up. US-based butyl acetate facilities operated by Oxea, Dow and Eastman work at a steady rate and are currently not affected by the Tropical Storm Barry, which mainly hit the Gulf of Mexico coast.

In general, butyl acetate is largely dependent from feedstock butanol. It is also affected by end-use sector trends, which require enhanced environmental friendliness with less amount of solvents in coatings being consumed. The promotion of more environmentally safe technologies like the one developed jointly by BP and DuPont for bio-butanol production may pave the way for the future progress in the butyl acetate sector.

A detailed guide to the global butyl acetate market can be found in the in-demand research report “Butyl Acetate (BAC): 2019 World Market Outlook and Forecast up to 2028”.