(ICIS) -- Surging acetic acid feedstock costs and strong demand will likely continue to propel ethyl acetate (etac) spot prices higher in Asia and break the record high of USD 1.200/tonne (EUR840/tonne) set last week, market sources said on Tuesday. Last week's spot price, on a cost and freight (CFR) southeast (SE) Asia basis, was the highest since ICIS records for etac began in May 1996.
Spot etac prices have been steadily rising since January, gaining 14-20%, because of tight supply. This has been compounded by high prices of the feedstock acetic acid following production issues at a 1.2m tonne/year acetic acid plant in Nanjing, China, which is operated by global acetyls producer Celanese.
Acetic acid spot prices have risen by 52% from the start of the year to their highest levels in nearly three years, reaching USD 650-700/tonne CFR NE (northeast) Asia on 15 April, according to ICIS data.
With acetic acid feedstock values likely to remain bullish until Celanese's production problems can be resolved, possibly in mid-May, the upward trend in etac prices in Asia is expected to continue, market sources said.