ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information for the Bisphenol A markets on a weekly basis. Spot prices can be followed in Asia, China and Europe, while monthly contract prices are also reported in Europe.
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Our editor gives their expert view
Bisphenol A Overveiw Transcript
There are two grades of bisphenol A produced, one suitable for epoxy resin manufacture and a higher purity grade is for polycarbonate production.
The main outlet for BPA is polycarbonate, which accounts for approximately two-thirds of global demand. The second largest outlet, at around a third of BPA consumption is epoxy resins.
Polycarbonate is used in a variety of applications such as the fast-growing optical media industry, electrical and electronic, construction automotive and packaging applications.
The prices of phenol and benzene as well as demand from the polycarbonate and epoxy resins industries largely influence the price of BPA.
Phenol supply is currently limited owing to the robust buying demand from its derivatives and in 2010 BPA supply was the tightest it had been in 15 years.
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Bisphenol A: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2016
Questions surrounding bisphenol A (BPA) availability are impacting the European market, leading to firming spot prices. A lack of Russian imports – particularly following Ufaorgsintez’s decision to suspend BPA production in late 2015 – and concern over the level and price of Asian imports are the main causes of availability concerns heading into the second quarter . Contract prices are more sheltered from supply concerns but strengthening feedstock costs are adding upward pressure to both contract and spot prices as the market moves into the second quarter.
In Asia, spot BPA prices are expected to keep to a stable to firm trend moving into the second quarter, as scheduled regional plant turnarounds keep spot cargo availability in check. Several BPA plants running at lowered operating rates may also help cushion the market. Outlook appears optimistic on anticipated steady demand, while market players are keeping watch on any potential influence from volatility in related upstream benzene and phenol markets.
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Bisphenol A Methodology
About Bisphenol A
Bisphenol-A (BPA) occurs as white crystals or flakes with a slightly phenolic odour. It is soluble in ether, ethyl alcohol, acetone and slightly soluble in water.
The main outlet for BPA is in the manufacture of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is used in a variety of applications such as optical media industry, electrical and electronic, construction, automotive and packaging.
BPA is driven primarily by increasingly strong demand for polycarbonate resins.
The second largest end use of BPA is epoxy resins. There are several types of epoxy resins but those based on BPA and epichlorohydrin account for the majority. High performance coatings are one of the primary applications followed by electrical/electronic laminates, adhesives, flooring and paving applications, mainly in the automotive, construction and aerospace industries.
Other key uses of BPA include flame retardants (mainly tetrabromobisphenol A), unsaturated polyester resins and polyacrylate, polyetherimide and polysulphone resins.