Epichlorohydrin Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis for the global Epichlorohydrin 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 Epichlorohydrin 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.
Our editor gives their expert view
Epichlorohydrin Overview Transcript
Epichlorohydrin or ECH is an extremely versatile chemical intermediate.
There are two different ECH production processes one is propylene based, and the other is glycerine based. Most ECH producers use the propylene route.
ECH is used to produce a wide variety of products including epoxy resins, textiles, paper, inks and dyes.
Approximately three-quarters of the world’s consumption of ECH is used for epoxy resins, making demand from this sector the key to ECH prices.
ECH in Asia is mainly traded on a spot basis between producers and long-term end-users. Trade activity within Asia has become thinner in recent years, due to limited export availability from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China where there is strong domestic growth in epoxy resin demand.
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Epichlorohydrin: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2014
China domestic epichlorohydrin (ECH) spot prices are expected to be stable and range-bound in the third quarter because major local producers are likely to maintain their offers at current levels as tepid downstream demand offset firm feedstock propylene prices. Moreover, substantial price hikes may result in increased output from ECH plants ramping up their run rates or idle small plants going on stream and also an influx of imports into China. China import prices would continue to track domestic prices closely and are unlikely to fluctuate too much amid limited spot trades due to ample availability of lower-priced domestic cargoes.
The European outlook for ECH in the third quarter is unclear, driven by uncertainty in the outlook for upstream feedstock costs, in particular propylene.
An explosion in early June damaged Moerdijk’s styrene monomer (SM)/propylene oxide (PO) unit (MSPO-2), a 50-50 joint venture between Shell and BASF. It is too soon to ascertain when the plant will be restarted. The unexpected outage released tonnes of propylene into the market, lengthening availability, though the situation appears to be easing, with rates increased at other European PO sites.
European ECH producers say margins are very thin, because of imports of relatively cheap ECH and downstream epoxy resins from Asia, which have supplanted domestic European demand.
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Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is a clear, colourless liquid with a sweet, pungent odour. The main production process is based on the chlorination of propylene to make allyl chloride as the intermediate step to ECH.
Around three-quarters of global ECH demand is used to make epoxy resins which offer corrosion resistance, solvent and chemical resistance, hardness and adhesion. They are used in the manufacture of adhesives, coatings and structural parts for the automotive, aerospace, electronics and construction industries. The electronics industry uses epoxy resins to encapsulate electronic components and protect them from damage.
Other uses for ECH include preparation of fibres in textile manufacture, improving the performance of paper products, and ion exchange resins.