Ethylene oxide Prices, markets & analysis
If you buy or sell Ethylene oxide or related products, you need up-to-date global pricing data and the background information to help you understand it.
Our network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US enables us to deliver this. We publish their insights in our comprehensive daily and weekly price reports, plus we offer the news and analysis you need to put pricing information into context.
Ethylene oxide Overview Transcript
The European ethylene oxide market is mainly contract driven, it typically moves in line with 82% of the ethylene feedstock movement. The main market drivers are both feedstock based, and to a lesser extent supply and demand driven.
The main downstream sectors include downstream applications, surfactants and also seasonal business, which is anti-freeze and also in the summer season, the bottle sector.
The overall pricing trend has been increasing and firm, and this has been due to a number of plant maintenances, and robust demand particularly in the downstream surfactants sector.
The future outlook for the market all depends on the trade flow of imports for both Asia and the Middle East. This is for both ethylene and its derivatives and how well this is efficiently managed in Europe.
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Ethylene oxide: Market overview
La Seda de Barcelona (LSB) has requested liquidation of its assets. LSB operates the Industrias Quimicas Asociadas (IQA) ethylene oxide (EO) and ethylene glycol (EG) plants in Spain, as well as the downstream Artenius polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plants. LSB is also a major shareholder in Artlant PTA in Sines, Portugal.
There are no shutdowns planned for the first quarter in Europe or the US.
The European formula-based EO price movement comprises 80-85% of the change in the monthly ethylene price, with 82% taken as a representative average. As of January, annual conversion fees rolled over or increased by €15-40/tonne for European EO contracts.
US EO availability is expected to return to normal, following tightness caused by outages, with the completion of repairs and re-start of the Evangeline Pipeline early in 2014. EO producers are operating at full rates.
Demand for EO into antifreeze is strong due to cold weather.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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Ethylene Oxide Methodology
About Ethylene oxide
Ethylene oxide (EO) is the simplest cyclic ether and is a highly reactive, colourless gas due to the strain in its ring structure. It decomposes on heating above 500oC and may polymerise due to heating, under the influence of acids, bases, metal chlorides and metal oxides.
EO is used primarily in the production of monoethylene glycol (MEG) which is used mainly in the production of polyesters and antifreeze.
Other EO derivatives include ethoxylates (used in shampoo), ethanolamines (used in surfactants, personal care products), glycol ethers (used in solvents and fuels), polyethylene glycols (used in toothpaste) and polyalkylene glycols (used in antifoam agents).