Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI) announces the completion of the 2011 World Acetyls Analysis, an annual global study that covers historical trends and future projections for supply, demand, production, capacity, and trade of the global acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, acetic anhydride, cellulose acetate, polyvinyl alcohol industry for the period 2005 to 2015.
Included with each analysis is 12 months access to CMAI's online capacity and supply/demand databases with a mid-term supply/demand update, incorporating CMAI's latest market outlook. The analysis is a necessary resource for business managers and planning professionals who need to make strategic business decisions in a rapidly changing global economic and market environment.
Current Market Situation
After achieving high operating rates at the beginning of the study period (2005), the global acetic acid market has gone through a period of rapid expansion, which will culminate with a burst of capacity coming on-stream in 2010 through 2012. World acetic acid capacity expanded at more than twice the rate of demand over the past five years, driving industry utilization rates down. The period of rapid expansion in the global acetic acid market will be most pronounced in 2010 and 2011.
The global balance for VAM is best understood from the regional perspectives, since the market is generally driven by regional economics and the regional supply-demand balance. The North American market historically has operated in the low 80 percent range and is forecast to continue to operate near these levels in the forward period (2010-2015). South America has no VAM capacity and is generally supplied from North America. The European VAM market is undergoing change with recent decline in capacity leading to increases in imports, with the region projected to becoming the largest importing region globally by the end of the forecast period.
Methanol carbonylation accounts for the vast majority of acetic acid production, and the share has been increasing over time as this process is the most cost-competitive of the on-purpose acetic acid production routes. Essentially all of the new virgin capacity for acetic acid production is based on methanol carbonylation. Methanol carbonylation based acetic acid is projected to account for nearly 90 percent of the new supply over the next five years. Production of recovered acetic acid generated in the manufacture of polyvinyl alcohol is also increasing, accounting for the remaining 10 percent of new supply.
Changes in the regional supply shares reflect the capacity growth in the Middle East and Northeast Asia, while the asset base in North America has changed very little and Europe has seen some decline in recent years. Global acetic acid demand is projected to increase by more than five percent per year over the next five years, increasing to over 12 million metric tons by 2015. Over the same period, the VAM market is forecast to grow at an average rate of 4.5 percent per year to over six million metric tons in 2015. Both acetic acid and VAM demand growth stems from a variety of different derivatives, which vary by region. Demand segmentation in North America and Europe is more diverse than in other regions. In Asia, acetyl demand segmentation varies significantly by country.