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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Other types of reports we cover for Ethylene glycol
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News & analysis
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Ethylene glycol: Market overview
Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot prices are expected to recover only after the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, at the end of January, because of a short-term oversupply. Demand is likely to recover after the holiday because of restocking requirements from end-users after large-scale production cutbacks in the downstream polyester filament yarn industry in December 2013 and January 2014. Two new MEG units, with a combined capacity of 560,000 tonnes/year, are expected to come on line soon. Sinopec Zhenhai Petrochemical’s 650,000 tonnes/year unit is expected to shut down in March-April, offsetting the supply addition from the new capacities.
MEG in Europe is expected to be balanced-to-tight in 2014. There are glycol and upstream ethylene oxide (EO) shutdowns scheduled for the second, third and fourth quarters that will curtail availability in Europe. However, fresh polyethylene terephthalate (PET) output pulling on MEG supplies will partly depend on whether existing or old PET capacities will reduce output or shut down as a consequence.
US ethylene glycol contract prices are on an uptrend as demand in the downstream anti-freeze sector is fairly strong on the back of exceptionally cold weather at the start of 2014. However, the price gains are likely to remain small as supply has been plentiful, with producers running at full operations and no scheduled turnarounds in the near term. The excess of MEG and diethylene glycol (DEG) led to increased exports, particularly to Asia, in November and December 2013 because Asia spot prices were firmer than in the US. It remains to be seen whether the flow of exports will remain strong at the start of 2014.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
News & analysis
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.