The US fatty alcohol market is suffering from weak demand and overcapacity and petrochemical producers like Shell and BP are decreasing capacity. Prices were 10-15% weaker in 2002 than 2001. Nevertheless, in order to counterbalance increases in the key raw material prices, US producers of fatty alcohols are trying to increase prices. Worldwide, Kao’s newly expanded plant in Malaysia and Sasol’s new plant in South Africa are adding capacity. With global demand estimated to increase by nearly 3%, the fatty alcohol market is expected to firm in 2003 provided that excess US capacity is kept idle.
Source: www.oleoline.com vom 2003-02-19.