Glycerine Prices, markets & analysis
With a network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US, ICIS is fully equipped to keep you updated on everything that happens in the global Glycerine market, whether you buy or sell Glycerine or related products.
From daily and weekly reports containing price assessments obtained by our network of local reporters, to the news and analysis that put the market into focus, we provide the tools you need to make confident business decisions.
Our editor gives their expert view
Glycerine overview Transcript
Glycerine is a coproduct of the manufacture of fatty acids and fatty alcohols and also the trans-esterification process of biodiesel. These processes can involve either tallow or fats, which means that the upstream markets for glycerine are just those markets, they’ll be the fats, the oils, and including the biodiesel market where we watch the multi-feed-stock producers.
It’s part of the oleochemicals family that includes fatty acids and fatty alcohols, not biodiesel, that’s not an oleochemical. But it is crude glycerine that is of increasing importance in market in the US and that stems from the biodiesel production.
The uses for glycerine can be food uses, they can be construction uses or they can be agricultural uses. It is a ubiquitous product with over 1,000 end-uses in the markets. It is, in fact, a green product, it is not made through anything using petrochemicals and therefore is increasingly sought after for companies that want to green their profile as the bio-revolution continues in the US.
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Glycerine news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Glycerine analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Glycerine marketplace.
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Glycerine: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2014
The US and Europe are net importers of refined vegetable glycerine, with Asian oleochemical production of fatty acids and alcohols previously forming the most prevalent supply stream.
Supply of glycerine in Europe is expected to be healthy going forward. Biodiesel plants should be operating at good levels as mineral oil companies look to maximise blending ahead of the third quarter.
Demand is healthy in Europe, but the spot market is expected to be quieter than usual this year as many market participants have covered their needs through long-term contracts.
In the Western Hemisphere, South American biodiesel production, particularly in Argentina, is changing trade patterns. South American biodiesel producers previously sent crude glycerine to Asia, where it is refined and then exported. In 2012, Argentina’s biodiesel producers began to refine crude and export the material, while Brazil is now exporting crude glycerine from biodiesel.
Refined and crude glycerine originating from Argentina is expected to be plentiful through the rest of the year, as biodiesel producers in the region are expected to run at high production rates.
Meanwhile, US contract prices are looking stable for the third quarter, although some softening has been discussed amid large import volumes. Players in the sector say the third-quarter spot market could see some price softening on plentiful supply.
Expectations of higher biodiesel production in the region, because of government mandates in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, weighed on glycerine sentiments in Asia.
Furthermore, the ramp-up in Latin American and European biodiesel production has resulted in ample crude glycerine, which has been experiencing slow demand in the key China market since the third quarter 2013. The market likely will be bearish as overall slower-than-expected demand and competitive pricing will pressure prices.
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Glycerine is mainly produced as a by-product in soap and oleochemical manufacture, using natural fats and oils as raw materials, or as a by-product of biodiesel production from the transesterification of vegetable oils into methyl esters. Glycerine can also be manufactured synthetically to give a product free of smell or taste.
A major outlet for glycerine is personal and oral care products such as skincare creams, toothpastes and mouth washes. It is used in food products either as glycerine directly or one of its derivatives such as glycerol mono-stearate.
Other uses include tobacco humectant, polyether polyols in polyurethane manufacture, pharmaceuticals, alkyd resins, explosives, plasticisers and lubricants. A growing application is the production of epichlorohydrin (ECH) and propylene glycol (PG).