Tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) price February 2024 and outlook (see chart below)

  • North America:US$1.36/KG, -5.6% down
  • Europe:US$2.93/KG, -1% down
  • Northeast Asia:US$2.27/KG, -4.2% down
  • India:US$2.23/KG, -0.4% down
The chart below summarizes TOFA price trend per region, as well as the outlook. It takes a moment to load.

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Tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) price index

This post is a summary of the global tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) price developments. The price developments of global tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for global tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of global tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of tall oil fatty acids (TOFA)
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of global tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) price chart

 

What is TOFA

Tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) is a byproduct of the pulp and paper industry, which is obtained from the acidulation of crude tall oil. Tall oil is a byproduct of the Kraft pulping process that is used to produce paper and other wood-based products.

TOFA is a mixture of fatty acids that is composed primarily of oleic acid, linoleic acid, and rosin acids. The exact composition of TOFA can vary depending on the source and processing conditions, but it typically contains 30-40% oleic acid, 35-50% linoleic acid, and 10-25% rosin acids.

TOFA has a wide range of industrial applications, including as a raw material for the production of alkyd resins, adhesives, and lubricants. It can also be used as a plasticizer and a surfactant in various formulations.

TOFA is valued for its renewable and sustainable nature, as it is derived from a byproduct of the pulp and paper industry rather than from petroleum. It is also biodegradable and has low toxicity, making it a more environmentally friendly alternative to many petrochemical-based products.

 

What is TOFA used for

Tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) is a versatile chemical that has a wide range of industrial applications. Here are some of the most common uses of TOFA:

Adhesives

TOFA is used as a raw material in the production of hot melt adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, and other types of adhesives. TOFA-based adhesives have good tack, peel strength, and shear strength.

Lubricants

TOFA is used as a base oil for the production of industrial lubricants, such as metalworking fluids and hydraulic fluids. TOFA-based lubricants have good oxidative stability, high viscosity index, and good low-temperature properties.

Surfactants

TOFA is used as a surfactant in various formulations, such as emulsifiers, wetting agents, and dispersants. TOFA-based surfactants have good surface tension reduction and foaming properties.

Chemical intermediates

TOFA can be further processed into a variety of chemical intermediates, such as dimer acids, which are used as raw materials for the production of polyamides, polyester resins, and other chemicals.

Mining

TOFA is used in the mining industry as a flotation agent, which helps to separate minerals from other materials during the mining process.

Animal feed

TOFA is sometimes used as a feed supplement for livestock, as it is a source of essential fatty acids.

Alkyd resins

TOFA is a key raw material for the production of alkyd resins, which are used in paints, coatings, and varnishes. Alkyd resins based on TOFA have good adhesion, gloss, and durability properties.

Other industrial applications

TOFA is also used in a variety of other industrial applications, including drilling fluids, metalworking fluids, and as a raw material for the production of biodiesel.

Overall, TOFA is valued for its renewable and sustainable nature, as it is derived from a byproduct of the pulp and paper industry rather than from petroleum. It is also biodegradable and has low toxicity, making it a more environmentally friendly alternative to many petrochemical-based products.

 

How is TOFA produced

Tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) is produced as a byproduct of the Kraft pulping process, which is used to produce paper and other wood-based products. Here are the general steps involved in the production of TOFA:

Pulp and paper production

Wood chips are cooked with chemicals in a large vessel called a digester to separate the cellulose fibers from the lignin and other non-cellulosic materials. The resulting pulp is then washed, screened, and bleached to produce high-quality paper products.

Tall oil recovery

Tall oil is a byproduct of the pulping process that is recovered from the black liquor, a waste stream generated during the pulping process. The black liquor is processed to extract tall oil, which contains a mixture of fatty acids, rosin acids, and other components.

Acidulation

The crude tall oil is then subjected to a process called acidulation, in which it is treated with sulfuric acid or other acid catalysts to break down the tall oil into its individual components. This process results in the separation of the fatty acids from the rosin acids and other non-fatty acid components.

Fractionation

The crude TOFA is then fractionated to separate the individual fatty acids by distillation. The resulting TOFA contains a mixture of fatty acids, primarily oleic acid, linoleic acid, and rosin acids.

Purification

The TOFA is then purified by further distillation, crystallization, or other processes to remove any impurities or undesirable components.

The resulting TOFA is a valuable raw material that can be further processed into a variety of industrial products, as described in my previous response.

 

What drives the cost of Tall Oil Fatty Acid

The cost of tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:

Raw material costs

The cost of crude tall oil, which is the primary raw material for TOFA production, can also affect the cost of TOFA. The price of crude tall oil can be influenced by factors such as changes in the price of wood pulp, the availability of alternative raw materials, and changes in transportation costs.

Processing costs

The cost of processing crude tall oil into TOFA can also affect the final cost of the product. This can include the cost of acidulation, fractionation, and purification processes, as well as energy and labor costs associated with production.

Environmental regulations

Environmental regulations, such as those related to emissions, wastewater, and waste disposal, can also impact the cost of TOFA production. Compliance with these regulations can add additional costs to the production process.

Overall, the cost of TOFA can be influenced by a variety of complex factors, including both internal and external factors related to production, supply and demand, and environmental and regulatory considerations.

Which countries produce the most TOFA

Tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) is primarily produced in countries that have a significant pulp and paper industry, as TOFA is a byproduct of the Kraft pulping process. Here are some of the major TOFA-producing countries:

United States

The United States is one of the largest producers of TOFA, with most of the production concentrated in the southern states. The US is also a major consumer of TOFA-based products, particularly in the coatings and adhesives industries.

Canada

Canada is another significant producer of TOFA, with most of the production concentrated in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The Canadian pulp and paper industry is also a major consumer of TOFA-based products.

Sweden

Sweden is a major producer of pulp and paper products, and is also a significant producer of TOFA. The country has a long history of using tall oil as a raw material for the production of chemicals and other industrial products.

Finland

Finland is another major producer of pulp and paper products, and is also a significant producer of TOFA. The country has a strong focus on sustainability and renewable resources, making TOFA a natural choice as a raw material for many industries.

Brazil

Brazil has a growing pulp and paper industry, and is also a significant producer of TOFA. The country has been investing in new technologies to improve the efficiency and sustainability of its pulp and paper production, which is expected to drive growth in TOFA production as well.

Other countries that produce significant amounts of TOFA include Norway, Russia, and Germany. The global TOFA market is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for renewable and sustainable raw materials.

TOFA market information

The global market for tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for renewable and sustainable raw materials. While there is no exact figure for the size of the TOFA market, there are some estimates available.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global tall oil fatty acid market size was valued at USD 821 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 1.1 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period. The report highlights the increasing demand for TOFA in end-use industries such as coatings, adhesives, and printing inks, as well as its growing use as a renewable source of chemicals and materials.

Another report by Mordor Intelligence estimates that the global tall oil fatty acid market was valued at USD 762.05 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 1.02 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The report highlights the growing demand for TOFA-based products in the construction, automotive, and textile industries, as well as its use as a bio-based alternative to petroleum-based chemicals.

Overall, the global TOFA market is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for sustainable and renewable raw materials, as well as its growing use in a variety of end-use industries.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Tall oil fatty acids are the world’s 3417th most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Tall oil fatty acids were United States ($68M), Finland ($63.9M), Sweden ($39.7M), Netherlands ($25.7M), and France ($20.2M).

In 2020, the top importers of Tall oil fatty acids were Netherlands ($19.9M), Germany ($15.9M), Sweden ($14.8M), Russia ($13.5M), and France ($13M).

 

Further information

 

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