Ethylene glycol Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis for the global Ethylene glycol 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 Ethylene glycol 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.
Monoethylene Glycol and diethylene glycol overview Transcript
Monoethylene Glcyol (MEG) is one of the major derivatives of ethylene. MEG is main use in the manufacture of polyester fibre, resin and film. MEG is also important in the production of anti-freezes and solvents.
As a key intermediate in polyester production, after purified terephthalic acid (PTA), MEG spot prices track, closely, the trend in the PTA market.
Traders play a key role in the volatile market as well as some end-users who double-up as speculative traders. Their sentiment follows, PTA prices, crude futures prices, feedstock ethylene values and the macroeconomic environment. China is the most important import market in Asia, with strong growth of the polyester industry.
Diethylene glycol (DEG) is a widely used by-product of MEG. Over half of DEG consumption in Asia is for unsaturated polyester resins or UPR, the other half for polyester polyols and functional solutions. DEG is a highly volatile market mainly traded on a spot basis with the exception of a Saudi Arabian major.
Sentiment rather than market fundamentals drives DEG prices in Asia.
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Ethylene glycol news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Ethylene glycol analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Ethylene glycol marketplace.
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News & analysis
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Ethylene glycol: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2015
In Asia, downward pressure on prices will likely persist in Q4 amid weaker demand, particularly during the seasonal year-end lull period in November and December. Restocking activities in key market China remains a possibility after the Golden week holiday from 1-7 October, but expectations remained subdued in view of an uncertain outlook over China’s economy. Several turnarounds are expected to take place in October. However, impact on spot prices would likely be countered by production cutbacks in the downstream polyester sector.
US MEG contract prices will be influenced by supply/demand dynamics and Asia MEG price trends. Contract prices are likely to stay soft in Q4 on the back of weak values in upstream ethylene and crude oil, however tightening supply may firm MEG spot prices. MEG supply is said to be tightening on the back of several major plant turnarounds in North America in September and October. Demand is expected to remain flat as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is in its off season, and buyers in the anti-freeze sector have stayed on the sidelines believing that MEG contract prices have not yet reached bottom.
There are shutdowns scheduled for the fourth quarter in Europe, which should help to balance out the ethylene glycol (EG) market. Much depends on what imports arrive and how plants perform on restart. Producers Sibur and Nizhnekamskneftekhim in Russia will have completed their turnarounds by the first half of October. The demand/supply situation will also depend on what sort of volumes the antifreeze sector does. The scheduled shutdown at BASF’s ethylene oxide (EO) and EG plant in Antwerp, Belgium, went down in late September and is due to last until the end of November, according to sources. Capacities are at 500,000 tonnes/year for EO and 350,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS data. BASF would not comment. Clariant will be out from 13 October to early November at its 240,000 tonne/year EO and 140,000 tonne/year EG units in Gendorf, Germany.
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Ethylene glycol news & analysis
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Ethylene Glycol Methodology
Ethylene Glycol Asia Margin Report Methodology
Ethylene Glycol Europe Margin Report Methodology
Ethylene Glycol US Margin Report Methodology
About Ethylene glycol
Ethylene glycol is a colourless, odourless, viscous, hygroscopic sweet-tasting liquid. It is very soluble in water, ethyl alcohol, ethers and markedly reduces the freezing point of water.
Its applications are as an intermediate in the production of polyesters, mainly polyester fibres and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resins, and as an automotive antifreeze.
There are three grades of ethylene glycol; fibre grade, industrial grade and antifreeze grade.
Minor applications include deicing fluids and surface coatings, and as an ingredient in photographic developing solutions, hydraulic brake fluids, some unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), and inks.
Ethylene glycol can also be used to make glycol ethers.