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 reached the highest point for the year at $1,700-1,760/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China in the quarter ended June. Prices had risen by $40-80/tonne from mid-March to end-June, driven by the limited availability of spot cargoes amid shutdowns and reduced run rates at major BPA facilities. These major producers reduced output as they had fewer exports into the China market, given the competitively-priced Chinese domestic cargoes.
This was contrary to the situation from mid-March to the start of May, when prices declined by $30-50/tonne. This period was marked by softer demand and limited buying interest amid a backdrop of bearish macroeconomic conditions and a weaker Chinese currency.
However, sellers became firm on their price ideas from May when their inventory levels reduced and buyers found it more difficult to secure spot cargoes at lower prices. In particular, a shutdown of a major China-based plant triggered concerns of tighter supply in the Chinese market, bolstering buying ideas as a result. Import prices then underwent a sharp upturn , rising by $60-110/tonne from the previous month in June alone.
Updated to Q2 2014
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