Sa. Mrz 2nd, 2024

For the Quarter Ending September 2023


North America

Stearic Acid prices experienced a slightly bullish trend in the third quarter of 2023, with an approximately 1% increase. The primary factor contributing to this price uptick was the escalating costs of the feedstock Palm Oil, which rose by around 2% in the Asian export market, a major source of Stearic Acid imports to North America. Demand from downstream sectors saw a marginal improvement, particularly in automotive sales that surged by almost 19% in September 2023, contributing to a positive end to the third quarter. The downstream PVC industry also exhibited healthy demand, as PVC prices rose by over 8% in the North American market. Consequently, a combination of robust demand and increased feedstock costs resulted in an overall appreciation of product prices. Furthermore, continuous interest rate hikes by the Federal Bank led to higher output charges and port fees, contributing to an inflation rate exceeding 4%.


Stearic Acid prices in the Asian market followed an overall bearish trajectory, declining by over 3% in the first half of the third quarter, with a marginal recovery of almost 1% in the latter half. Despite a 2% increase in the price of feedstock Palm Oil, the third quarter witnessed an overall depreciation of approximately 3%. Demand from the downstream automotive industry remained subdued, experiencing a nearly 15% drop in production during the third quarter of 2023. The downstream soap industry showed mixed demand due to the uneven impact of El Nino on rainfall in South and East Asia, affecting Palm Oil production. This led to varied purchasing sentiments in the soap industry, resulting in moderate consumption rates and adversely affecting product prices.


Stearic Acid prices in the European market displayed a predominantly mixed trend, initially decreasing by almost 1.5% in the first half of the third quarter, followed by an increase of nearly 2% in the second half. This mixed pattern resulted in a marginal bullish trend, with prices rising by almost 0.4% in the overall third quarter of 2023. Demand from the construction industry was weak in Europe, with PVC prices declining by around 5%. Additionally, inflation rates in Germany spiked above 6% in August before moderating to 4.5% in September, restricting consumer purchasing activities. The rising prices of Palm Oil in the South Asian export market led to reduced import orders due to prevailing recessionary conditions in Europe, keeping trade activities at a moderate level. Overall, Stearic Acid prices in the European market are anticipated to remain subdued as the fall season approaches.

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South America

Stearic Acid prices in the South American market remained relatively stable in the third quarter of 2023, owing to moderate inventories of imports and balanced demand. The stability in prices was attributed to the maintenance of a sufficient gap between demand and supply, preventing significant fluctuations throughout the quarter. Rising production costs in the Southeast Asian market prompted merchants to place import orders based on actual requirements. Demand from the downstream automotive industry was moderate, and purchasing sentiments in the downstream soap manufacturing industry contributed to price stability. Most economic indicators showed moderate results, with industrial activities contracting after seven consecutive months of expansion. Prices are expected to stay subdued as uncertainties in the production of Palm Oil persist in the exporting Southeast Asian market.



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