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
Isopropanol (IPA) prices in Europe and North America are facing upward pressure, following recent increases in the price of feedstock propylene.
In North America, there is expectation that efforts by Shell, Sasol, Dow and ExxonMobil to increase prices could gain some traction in the market. This is a drastic change from a few months ago, when a few price nominations by producers fell flat. It is likely that IPA contract prices for the remainder of 2013 could see some form of modest increases.
Despite weak demand, prices in Europe rose in late July and early August, tracking the rise in the price of feedstock propylene. There is no expectation that demand will surge soon and market players are focusing on the price movements of feedstocks propylene and acetone to gauge the price of IPA.
In Asia, market participants are cautious on the back of weak downstream demand and upcoming new capacities in the key Chinese market. China’s Yancheng Super Chemical and Taiwanese producer Chang Chun Plastics are expected to start up their plants later this year.
Updated to mid-August 2013
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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.