Bisphenol A Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis for the global Bisphenol A market. Our network of price reporters, based in Asia, Europe and the US, deliver local insight for each of these markets, which is published in our individual weekly and daily price reports.
If you buy or sell Bisphenol A or related products, our reports, news and market intelligence will give you the prices and analysis of the factors driving the prices that you need to make confident commercial decisions.
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
Demand for bisphenol A (BPA) is poor in Asia and Europe because demand for its derivatives is down. Downstream polycarbonate (PC) and epoxy resin sales are weak as a result of economic uncertainties. Most market participants expected limited change during the third quarter and are also uncertain about the outlook for the rest of 2013.
Most producers and consumers have cut their plant operating rates and reduced their inventories because of poor sales. High feedstock costs have also put pressure on the market.
About 70% of global BPA output serves the PC sector, where demand is mainly influenced by the construction, automotive, electronics and electrical industries. PC demand has been hit by weakened economic conditions and a major drop in construction and automotive output.
The remaining 30% of BPA demand comes largely from the epoxy resins industry. This downstream segment experienced a major downturn during 2012 because of declining sales in the automotive and construction industries in Asia and Europe. The epoxy resins industry is still in recovery mode.
Updated to mid-Aug 2013
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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.