Ethanolamines Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS offers trusted and reliable market intelligence for those buying or selling Ethanolamines or related products in the global Ethanolamines market.
Our reporters across Asia, Europe and the US keep in touch with local markets, bringing you price assessments, in-depth news and analysis which you can rely on to guide you in your commercial decisions.
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
China’s amines prices may be supported in the first quarter, with rising demand in the weeks leading to the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on 31 January, as end-users are stockpiling the products amid tightening supply, market participants said.
While demand was not particularly robust in the country, the light stockpiling activity along with tightened supply of southeast Asian material helped boost both China’s import and domestic prices of amines across all grades, they said.
Domestic plant maintenance also supported the price increases of monoethanolamines (MEA), diethanolamines (DEA) and triethanolamines (TEA). Plant maintenance both in and outside China are making supplies tighter, and this in turn support prices.
There were very limited offers heard with regards to regular supplier Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), as the volumes were being reduced in response to an impending planned maintenance, market participants said.
PTTGC will shut down its 50,000 tonne/year ethanolamines unit in Map Ta Phut from 15 January for maintenance that would last until mid-February, and during which there will be a catalyst change in the unit.
In China, South Korea’s Lotte Chemical plans to shut its 50,000 tonne/year ethanolamines plant at Jiaxin city for routine maintenance from 10 January. The plant, which is currently running at half its capacity, will be shut for two to three weeks.
Another producer in China was facing feedstock ethylene oxide (EO) issues, resulting in lower production of ethanolamines, market participants said.
Stable EO prices over the past weeks and rising ethylene prices in Asia underpin China’s domestic prices of amines.
In Europe the market remains long with plentiful supply and limited demand. In this environment producers continue to struggle to pass through prices in key raw material ethylene. US imports continue to be prevalent with ethylene economics more attractive. Imports from other regions continue to be more limited due to weaker European pricing.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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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.