For the Quarter Ending September 2023
The Acetonitrile market in North America experienced significant fluctuations during the third quarter of 2023. Initially, prices rose but took a notable downturn as mid-Q3 approached, continuing on a downward trajectory until the end of September. Despite ongoing economic challenges in the United States and global inflation, stable pricing in the US Acetonitrile market was maintained in July, thanks to consistent local demand. The downstream sectors, particularly in neighboring countries like Mexico and Canada, played a crucial role in sustaining a steady market. However, the gap between upstream acetic acid and downstream Acetonitrile narrowed in July, and rising shipping costs exacerbated the decline in imports. Businesses, concerned about potential sales difficulties, refrained from accumulating excess inventory. The decision of the local Federal Reserve to raise interest rates contributed to a bearish trend in the US economy, affecting both domestic and foreign orders. The spread chart between upstream acetic acid and downstream Acetonitrile declined, influencing Acetonitrile’s pricing. In contrast, the upstream Ammonia market in the United States remained stable, ensuring a consistent supply of Acetonitrile to meet demand in surrounding regions. Despite an increase in propylene prices in the upstream market, ample local supplies and weak trade orders led to a gradual decline in market prices by September.
Acetonitrile prices in the Asia Pacific region witnessed a rise in July, followed by a drop in August, and continued on a bearish trend until the end of September. The slight increase in Acetonitrile costs in July was influenced by a positive global market trend, supported by rising crude oil prices. Although demand from downstream sectors remained stable, there were challenges in meeting the demand, particularly due to the significant influence of propylene import costs from Asian markets, notably China. Japan’s wholesale inflation slowed in July due to lower energy prices, leading to a seventh consecutive monthly decline. Weak global demand affected export data, indicating a 0.8% decrease in July compared to the same month last year. Market dynamics in Japan remained subdued due to weak international demand, impacting output, new orders, and export sales. In August, the pharmaceutical sector’s decreased demand for Acetonitrile led to weaker overall demand, limiting the ability of purchasers and traders to raise future quotations. The challenging outlook was compounded by a softening in the services industry. Consequently, the price of Acetonitrile in Japan was set at $1510/MT.
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The Acetonitrile market outlook in Europe during the third quarter of 2023 remained pessimistic. The global economic slowdown resulted in reduced consumption of Acetonitrile in various sectors, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides, leading to a downward price trend. Traders consistently offered acetonitrile futures at lower rates in response to market conditions. Belgium’s economy faced challenges in July 2023 due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, disrupting global supply chains and increasing energy prices. A worldwide chip shortage also impacted manufacturing output. Negative market sentiment in August significantly reduced purchasing power in downstream industries, causing a substantial 9 percent decline. The decrease in domestic inquiries for Acetonitrile, persisting since the beginning of 2023, further worsened the situation. The global economic slowdown in mid-Q3 impacted supply-demand dynamics, resulting in decreased demand for Acetonitrile. Despite Acetonitrile’s unchanged availability, weaker trade momentum in importing countries and rising freight costs maintained a negative market atmosphere. High interest rates since July led to a notable decrease in demand from downstream industries. Traders continued to sell acetonitrile futures contracts cautiously, with limited participation from intermediate traders, few market transactions, and weak market fundamentals making it challenging to boost activity. As a result, the price of Acetonitrile in Belgium was assembled at $1835/MT.
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