10 January 2012 04:09 [Source: ICIS news]
By Heng Hui
Spot prices of paraffin wax have been largest stable in 2011 at above $1,500/tonne (€1,170/tonne) FOB (free on board) CMP (China Main Port) for the benchmark solid wax with melt points at 58/60 degrees Celsius, according to ICIS.
Prices rose to as high as around $1,650/tonne FOB
Paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum, however, is much more expensive than its substitutes such as palm wax, triple pressed stearic acid, tallow and soy wax.
Palm wax, the most popular substitute to paraffin wax is being offered at below $1,300/tonne FOB SE (southeast)
Triple pressed stearic acid, meanwhile, was priced even lower at $1,170-1,200/tonne FOB SE Asia as at 4 January, according to ICIS.
Tallow and soy wax are also heard being used in wax blends in some industries.
But these substitutes to paraffin wax have limitations in their technical properties. Sellers acknowledged that natural wax would never replace petroleum-based wax altogether.
Waxes from natural sources are yellow and are incapable to hold colour and fragrance well, according to market participants. Some traders also said palm wax burns faster that it can only be a partial substitute for paraffin wax.
Tight supply of petroleum-based wax - caused by a gradual shift to higher viscosity base oils production in
Slackwax is a by-product of Group I base oils production. It undergoes a de-oiling and bleaching process to become paraffin wax.
“Paraffin wax is a small market. Oil refineries do not really think of wax, but of the economic productivity of the wider base oils and lubricants markets when building new plants,” said a trader in Mandarin.
The country itself may be using up some of its paraffin wax output to make candles, which are then exported, some traders said. Candle exports enjoy a tax refund in
Liquid wax produced in
The country procures from
According to traders,
($1 = €0.78)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections