Bisphenol A Prices, markets & analysis
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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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Spot bisphenol A (BPA) prices in Asia fell by close to $60-100/tonne, from mid-August to mid-November, because of weak downstream demand and bearish market sentiment.
From mid-Aug to mid-September, prices were largely stable to soft after supply became tighter following the shutdown of regional BPA plants. However, it was unable to drive BPA prices upwards because of persistently weak demand from downstream.
Buying interest tapered off ahead of the National Day holiday from 1-7 October in the key China market, as most market participants retreated to the sidelines during this period, especially as price direction was unclear.
From mid-October onwards, downward pressure increased on spot prices after market sentiment turned increasingly bearish amid persistently weak demand and concerns of supply lengthening, as regional facilities resume operations after earlier shutdowns.
Spot prices were stable to soft at $1,550-1,600/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China in mid-November. It remains to be seen if the downtrend will persist given the high cost pressure and squeezed margins faced by producers.
Updated to mid-November 2013
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