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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Ethanolamines: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2016
The early European ethanolamine contract price sentiment for July and the third quarter is firm, on margin recovery and material not being readily available in some cases and for certain products, although some rollovers were also being talked. Sellers are pushing for price rises around cost ratio and above in July, depending on source and homologue. They said that there is an underlying need to recoup lost margins, in view of the higher upstream ethylene contract costs in July and over the past few months, which they have not yet sufficiently passed on. Sellers also talk of availability being somewhat restricted from certain suppliers for maintenance or logistical related reasons.
The strongest pressure from sellers for price rises in July/Q3 is for tri-ethanolamines (TEA), because supply remains on the snug side, which was attributed to a spate of supply and/or logistical constraints, along with some signs of seasonally good demand, according to some players. Price hikes of €50-60/tonne have been proposed for TEA for monthly July and quarterly contract business. However, TEA buyers are keen to avoid or limit any upward price pressure in July/Q3, stating that supply was sufficient for their requirements and demand was reasonable, albeit fragile for economic reasons. For mono-ethanolamines (MEA) and for di-ethanolamines (DEA), moderate price rises and rollovers are being talked for July/Q3, because of margin recovery for the most part, but buyers and traders consider any upward price movement in July/Q3 to be unjustified from a supply perspective and because of competitive pressure in the case of MEA.
Views on demand range from healthy to flat, albeit fragile for economic reasons, with some slowdown in demand likely during the summer holidays.
China’s domestic prices of the homologues declined towards the end of the second quarter, down by 14% for MEA compared to the week ended 6 April. Over the same period, local Chinese DEA prices fell by 12% ,while domestic TEA prices in China edged down by 7%. Prices declined in response to an overall weaker ethylene oxide price environment. Prices of EO had decreased by 7% over the same period in China. While demand was weak in China amid an economic slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, supply remained healthy. However, going into the third-quarter, the amines prices in China are expected to improve as domestic production of both EO and the homologues eased partly due to the upcoming G20 summit.
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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.