Ethanolamines price reports are published weekly in Asia and Europe at ICIS.
Information is gathered by our locally based reporters and unbiased price assessments are published for the three main grades of ethanolamines; mono, di and tri. The news and market analysis cover influencing factors such as regional activity, production issues, both planned and unplanned, and upstream movements. The up-to-date market information helps support your commercial decision-making.
Our editor gives their expert view
Ethanolamines Europe Transcript
The ICIS ethanolamines report has assessments for three main grades of ethanolamine that’s monoethanolamine diethanolamine and triethanolamine, and when we’re looking at the triethanolamine, we’re looking at the 99% purity.
We assess the contract market on a monthly basis and within the report commentary itself, we look at what’s going on in the spot market because that can have a guiding influence on where prices might be heading. To back up those price assessments we look at what’s actually going on in those markets itself. How is supply, how is demand, what’s happening upstream in the ethylene, ethylene oxide and ammonia markets, to see how that might have a guiding influence on the price.
We talk to a broad cross-section of people in the market. We talk to buyers and traders, producers, distributors and storage companies. We talk to all of these people to gain a consensus view of what’s happening in the market and what could be happening in times to come.
People use our ethanolamines report in order to inform their business decisions, in order to decide when’s a good time to buy or when’s not such a good time, and really the unique thing about the ICIS report is that it is produced on a weekly basis which allows us to keep up to date on changing trends, or even, you know, important events that happen in the market, it could be a plant explosion or a plant shutdown, which you might not be able to keep up with so regularly with a monthly report.
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We offer the following regional Ethanolamines analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Ethanolamines marketplace.
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Ethanolamines: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2016
China’s amines markets are expected to weaken in response to sluggish demand, supply abundance and a tepid economy. In view of the Lunar New Year holiday from 7-13 February, market players in China are looking at importing material only from mid-February. Caixin’s general manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China in December dropped to 48.2 from 48.6 in November, indicating deteriorating operating conditions for the 10th straight month. A PMI reading above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity, while a reading below 50 denotes a contraction. The ethanolamines' supply pressure is eating into demand amid lacklustre downstream buying requirements. The bulk of Chinese amines plants are operating at 50-60% of their nameplate capacity. Chinese buyers are expecting foreign suppliers to slash prices in a climate of downtrodden fundamentals as domestic Chinese producers could meet local demand should they raise their run rates to the maximum level.
European ethanolamine monthly prices are likely to remain relatively steady in January, amid little change in the upstream ethylene contract price from December to January and a largely balanced market. There is, however, some indication that business that is fixed for the first quarter is likely to come under some slight downward price pressure, because of lower average upstream ethylene contract costs in Q4 when compared to the previous quarter. Initial indications for demand in early Q1 are reasonable to encouraging in several cases. In addition, demand in Europe is likely to be buoyed to some extent by increased competitiveness with other regions, if the US dollar were to remain strong against the euro and if crude oil prices stay low. One customer, by contrast, maintains that buying sentiment is likely to be cautious in the first quarter, due to the uncertainty and heightened volatility in Asia and the bearishness in the upstream crude oil market, were it to continue.
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There are three main ethanolamines: monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). They are produced by the reaction of ethylene oxide with ammonia with the product mix varying from an MEA content of about 70% to a TEA content of about 50% and any combination in between.
MEA’s main use is in the manufacture of ethylene amines and imines, personal care products and detergents, and wood treatment. Applications for DEA include herbicides, detergents and personal care products and treatment of acid gases in refineries. A large portion of TEA goes into detergents and personal care products, engineering and metal working applications and concrete manufacture.
Ethanolamines are colourless liquids which can be hazardous in high concentrations.