In 2018, China's CAC market fluctuated upward in the first half of the year, and fell weakly in the second half. The average price of CAC in East China was around 11,826 Yuan/MT, seeing a 14.47% year-on-year growth.
In the first half of the year, the production of ethylene oxide raw material was limited and the supply was tight, so the seller's offer was firm. But the downstream demand was small, therefore, the market price rose slowly. In the second half of the year, the weak demand high import cost, and the low operation load of the domestic main manufacturers resulted in a continuous downward trend for the CAC market in China.
Data Source: SCI
The First Stage (January to March)
In the first quarter of 2018, the overall market trend of CAC in China was relatively stable. Affected by the Spring Festival holiday, the overall market transaction was not large, but the raw material support was still in place and the main sellers intended to stabilize the price, so the market did not change much.
The Second Stage (Late April)
In April, the domestic CAC market rose sharply at the end of April, but the overall market transaction was mainly based on single deals. At the end of the month, the CAC supply was relatively tight due to the rising raw material price and centralized maintenance in some areas. Therefore, it saw a sharp rise in the supply price. However, the demand side in the month was not optimistic, and the actual order needs to be followed up.
The Third Stage (June)
In June, the support from the raw material was weak, the overall business atmosphere was not good. The price of the acetic acid raw materials continued to fall within the month and the ethylene oxide market declined by 1100 Yuan/MT. Therefore, the cost support was weak, and the offer was in a downward trend.
The Fourth Stage (July-December)
In the second half of 2018, the raw material price of ethylene oxide and the acetic acid decreased by 3.55% and 5.76% respectively compared with the first half of the year. The overall support on the cost side was loose. In addition, the market demand side was soft, and the seller's delivery was weak, therefore, the price kept going down, some main manufacturers entered the maintenance period, the overall industry is bearish.