Asia crude glycerine prices reach three-year high of $205/tonne

21 February 2011 07:32  [Source: ICIS news]

(recast, with changes to the attribution)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude glycerine prices in Asia have reached a three-year high amid supply shortages and growing global demand, traders said on Monday.

The prices of crude glycerine gained $190-205/tonne (€139-150/tonne) to settle at $400-435/tonne CIF (cost, insurance & freight) CMP (China Main Port) on 16 February 2011, according to data from ICIS. This is a 47% increase since 2009.

The price hikes were mainly due to material shortages in key exporters such as Argentina and Brazil.

“South America is currently short on crude glycerine material as buyers in [the] US and Europe have bought vast quantities since the beginning of this year, and material availability in the spot market is scarce,” a Singapore-based crude glycerine buyer said.

A slowdown in global biodiesel production in Europe, the US and Asia because of high raw material costs, environmental issues and declining demand since 2009 also contributed to the tightness in the supply of crude glycerine, which is a by-product of biodiesel production.

“March cargoes are fully sold, currently only have offers for April, and even so, we expect prices to remain firm,” a key Singapore-based trader added.

Moreover, demand for crude glycerine had been increasing since 2009 as newer applications from epichlorohydrin (ECH) in China had helped boost Asian consumption, a Chinese crude glycerine buyer said.

In China, Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical Group uses crude glycerine as its feedstock in ECH production at its 60,000 tonne/year plant. Wilmar’s 100,000 tonne/year glycerine-to-ECH plant is expected to come on stream in the second quarter of 2011. 

“I expect crude glycerine prices to remain firm throughout the first half of the year,” a China-based crude glycerine buyer said

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Serena Seng

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