The trade war between the USA and China is affecting the global oleochemicals market despite these chemicals not being directly impacted by the two countries’ trade tariffs on each other, according to an ICIS report on 19 September.

While the two countries’ export taxes would only directly impact fatty acids being sent from China to the USA, other oleochemicals were feeling the pinch, the report quoted Martin Herrington, North America president at IP Specialities, as saying.

Herrington added that US prices of glycerine – a by-product of soya biodiesel – had been under downward pressure from tariffs placed on soyabean oil by the USA against China.

Taxes on ethoxylates – a key component in surfactants – were also indirectly affecting the oleochemicals market.

The industry players were speaking at the 7th ICIS Surfactants Conference, which took place in Amsterdam on 19-20 September.

Oleochemicals – such as fatty acids, fatty acid methyl esters, fatty alcohols, fatty amines and glycerols – are used in detergents and personal care products, as well as in lubricants and metal working applications.