09 January 2012 03:14 [Source: ICIS news]
By Quintella Koh
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--2-ethyhexanol (2-EH) prices in Asia may come under considerable pressure in 2012, as China’s 2-EH import requirement is estimated to decline in the wake of new world-scale capacities that the country is building, industry sources said.
Several regional producers and traders said that as ?xml:namespace>
Asian 2-EH sellers typically hold a stronger bargaining power, as the petrochemical product is net deficit in
“Sellers will however experience a shift of bargaining power moving into 2012 and 2013, as
According to Chemease, an ICIS service in
A northeast Asian producer said based on its company’s internal data, it estimates that
The producer estimates that
ICIS-Chemease data shows that in 2011,
2-EH is used primarily in the production of dioctyl phthalate (DOP). DOP is added as a plasticiser in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is used heavily in the manufacture of construction materials such as door and window frames, pipes and cables.
Demand from the plasticisers industry will account for around 87% of the demand for 2-EH, while the demand from 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) will account for approximately 10% of the demand for 2-EH.
A bulk of new capacity of 2-EH will be added in is
Shandong Lanfan Chemical is expected to start up its 140,000 tonne/year 2-EH plant this year.
Meanwhile, Shandong Hualu Hengsheng Group, Shandong Luxi Chemical Co and Xingxia Petrochina are scheduled to start up new 2-EH plants in the period 2012 to 2013. These three plants can each produce 140,000 tonne/year of 2-EH.
Other provinces that will house new 2-EH capacities include
In Heilongjiang, Daqing Petrochemical Company is scheduled to complete its 2-EH expansion this year.
The company aims to increase its 2-EH capacity to 125,000 tonne/year from 50,000 tonne/year, ICIS-Chemease data shows.
In Sichuan, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNCP) aims to bring onstream a new 80,000 tonne/year 2-EH plant in 2013.
Asian producers had grappled with weak profit margins for most of last year. In 2011, Asian producer saw their profit margins plummet from an annual peak of $394.70/tonne (€312/tonne) on 18 February to -$43.95/tonne on 2 December. (please see chart below)
Asian producers said 2-EH’s performance at the start of this year appears to be a harbinger of tough times to come.
On 6 January, Asian producers started off the year with seeing profit margins of $64/tonne, a far cry from 2011, when they started off the year with profit margins of $388.90/tonne.
“Producers usually make very good profits selling 2-EH as the product is structurally very tight in
As testament to the tough times producers are anticipating, there were no new projects announced elsewhere in
“No one is willing to take the risk to invest in new projects or expand on their capacities now. Most producers will probably be in a wait-and-see mode in 2012 and 2013 to ascertain how the situation in
($1 = €0.79)
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