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Research | Time: May 25 2021 1:51PM
Acetic acid: unexpected plant shutdowns drive market upward
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Key points

China's acetic acid capacity growth has remained at a low rate since 2016. With the rapid expansion of PTA capacity, the acetic acid market has gradually shifted from an oversupply to a balance. Since the fourth quarter of 2020, the increase in export volume has aggravated the supply tightness of acetic acid.


In February 2021, the U.S. acetic acid plants announced force majeure under the cold wave in the United States, the supply decreased. Meanwhile, new PTA plants were put into production intensively in China, while the domestic acetic acid units were shut unexpectedly, which pushed the price of acetic acid to a record high.


I.Acetic acid market operation

II.Why short-term unit shutdowns can trigger such a large upswing?

1. Slow capacity expansion

2. The export volume is high due to the loss in overseas output


Operating status of some acetic acid plants

Charts and figures

Chart 1. Acetic acid price trend in China

Chart 2. Acetic acid plant operating rate in China

Chart 3. Acetic acid cash flow in China

Chart 4. Acetic acid capacity expansion

Chart 5. Acetic acid downstream applications

Chart 6. Acetic acid consumption of PTA

Chart 7. Global acetic acid price trends

Chart 8. Global acetic acid capacity distribution

Chart 9. China's Acetic acid exports to India

Chart 10. China's acetic acid exports by destination

Figure 1. Operating status of glacial acetic acid plant in China

Figure 2. Capacity expansion plans of glacial acetic acid

Figure 3. Expansion plans of acetic acid downstream plants

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