Global Market Outlook on Acetic Acid

  • The global acetic acid market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4 percent during 2017–2022. The impetus for this growth comes from demand in Asia, which is expected to grow at 5–6 percent, due to anticipated growth in VAM and PTA segments
  • VAM demand is expected to be driven by the construction segment (3–4 percent CAGR) and PTA to be driven by PET (4–5 percent CAGR) for the next 4–5 years



Demand Market Outlook

  • The global acetic acid market supply–demand gap is expected to regain balance, as nominal capacity additions are planned in the next five years against the growing demand.

Industry Best Practices

Engagement Models
Engagement Preferences 

  • North America: Spot market 
  • Europe: Contracts 
  • Asia: Both spot market and contracts

Role of IPROs
Assessment by IPROs

  • Consumers of above 10–100 KMT/year are considered for the assessment of contract prices, while transactions for cargos of 1–2 KMT/year are used for spot price assessments.

Pricing Structure

  • North America: Demand dynamics play a major role in setting the acetic acid prices
  • Europe:Methanol contract prices are used to arrive at acetic prices
  • Asia: Methanol spot price movements are the base to set both spot and contract price movements of acetic acid

Global Capacity–Demand Analysis

  • Current Market Scenario – Supply Market: Currently, a tight supplied market owing to production woes will ease out post 2018 as considerable amount of capacities are confirmed to be added in Asia. Once the supply disruptions are sorted out the market may return to balance
  • Key Trends in Downstream Demand: Demand growth expected for the next two years is positive especially demand will strong from the PET sector in Asia

Market Outlook  

  • Capacity Dynamics: After the permanent closure of CPDC’s Kaohsiung acetic acid plant of 160 KMT/year in 2015, global acetic acid capacity reached 17.8 MMT/year (inclusive of idle capacity of 1.24 MMT/year). Operating rates are at 70 percent lows and expected to increase above 95 percent levels by 2021, due to minimal capacity additions being outpaced by the growing demand
  • Capacity Additions: A 150 KMT/year addition by Celanese in the US and 66 KMT/year addition by Assam Petrochemicals Ltd - (APL) in India are expected by 2017. Plans for ~4 MMT/year of capacity additions are in prefeasibility stage in Asia, which are yet to materialize