Isopropanol 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 Isopropanol market, whether you buy or sell Isopropanol 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.
Isopropanol Overview Transcript
Isopropanol or IPA is used as a solvent in a wide range of industrial and consumer products. Its outlets include: pharmaceuticals, adhesives and inks, paints and resins, cosmetics and personal care items. It is also used as a chemical intermediate.
IPA can be produced using propylene or acetone. New facilities in Asia are mostly acetone-based for cost reasons. Acetone is usually more competitively priced compared to propylene due to rising regional supplies. China is the largest importer in Asia and it buys mainly from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the US.
Volatility in Asia is limited by long-term supply contracts between major producers and the distributors. Shipment prices are usually settled once a month, but swings in feedstock propylene and acetone costs can result in undue volatility in prices. Plant turn-arounds and outages usually have an impact on prices and Southeast Asia also tends to look at the Chinese market for price direction.
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We offer the following regional Isopropanol analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Isopropanol marketplace.
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Isopropanol: Market overview
Prices across Asia, Europe and the US are expected to be firm in January, with European and US demand likely to be robust throughout the first quarter.
Asian prices are expected to be determined by the import demand, which has been affected by the rising domestic production in China since 2010. Restocking activities before the Lunar New Year in end-January are likely to propel prices. Feedstock acetone or propylene price increases could also lend support to price hike efforts.
The demand in Europe is set to be lacklustre in 2014. However, the January demand is expected to be robust amid product restocking for both technical and pharmaceutical grades. Some producers are expected to increase prices due to the feedstock price uptrend. The increased demand could continue throughout the first quarter if IPA is needed for de-icing amid falling temperatures.
In the US, market sentiments are mixed if separate price increase nominations will be realised. Higher feedstock propylene costs have bolstered efforts to cover margins while the separate announcements are for 8 cents/lb. Most market participants agree that price increases in the first quarter of 2014 is likely.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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Isopropanol (IPA) is a clear, colourless, mobile liquid with an alcoholic odour. It is miscible with water and ethyl alcohol and reacts with strong oxidants.
IPA, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a low-cost solvent used in many industrial and consumer products and as an extractant. Outlets include cosmetics and personal care products, de-icers, paints and resins, pharmaceuticals, food, inks and adhesives. It is also used as solvent for oil and gums and in the manufacture of fishmeal concentrates. Low-grade IPA is used in motor oils.
Other applications include its use as a cleaning and drying agent in the manufacture of electronic parts and metals, and as an aerosol solvent in medical and veterinary products. It can also be used as a coolant in beer manufacture, a coupling agent, a polymerisation modifier, a de-icing agent and a preservative.
Some chemical compounds are manufactured from IPA, in particular derivative ketones, such as methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), isopropylamines and isopropyl esters.