The Maleic Anhydride markets are covered weekly by ICIS in Asia, Europe and the US. Our locally based reporters gather benchmark pricing assessments for both liquid and flake/molten material. Contracts are agreed in all three regions, while spot price updates are for Asia and Europe only.
The news and market intelligence that supports any price movements, gives details on demand, supply, regional updates, upstream activity, production news and any other influencing factors at the time of publication. This universally trusted insight ensures you have the information you need to make key strategic business decisions.
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Maleic anhydride news and market information products from ICIS
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Maleic anhydride: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2016
In the European maleic anhydride (MA) market, all eyes have turned towards Q4 pricing talks ahead of the contract settlement, likely to be confirmed by the end of October. Producers have pointed at squeezed margins and there is some expectation for an increase in the price of feedstock n-butane over the winter season. The rising feedstock costs saw producers move targets from plus €30-40/tonne up to plus €100/tonne. However, buyers were sceptical this could be achieved and were still talking of a small increase given the balance of supply in the market and the usual tailing off of demand towards the end of the fourth quarter. Given the wide range of price ideas, negotiations were expected to take longer than usual.
Demand for maleic anhydride (MA) in Asia is expected to be largely stable in the fourth quarter as buyers continue to procure for their monthly production needs. Some regional producers are expecting butane, a key feedstock of MA to increase in the coming months, giving MA some downward pressure.
In the US, maleic anhydride (MA) prices have been stable for most of 2016, with most in the market expecting that stability to continue through the year's end. Supply and demand fundamentals in the MA market have been relatively balanced, with some production outages helping to balance what had been a slightly long market. Rising feedstock butane prices in early Q4 could put some upward pressure on MA, but market sources expect that pressure to be offset by still ample MA supply through Q4.
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Maleic anhydride news & analysis
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Maleic Anhydride Methodology
About Maleic anhydride
Maleic anhydride (MA) occurs as colourless or white crystalline flakes with strong acrid (pungent) odour. It is soluble in acetone, ether, petroleum fractions and reacts with water, evolving heat and forming MA. It also dimerises to 1,2,3,4 -cyclobutane tetracarboxylic acid dianhydride in the presence of UV light.
MA is mostly used to make unsaturated polyester resins (UPRs). UPRs are used in a wide range of applications including bathroom fixtures and automobiles.
The second-largest outlet for MA is 1,4 butanediol (BDO) and derivatives tetrahydrofuran (THF) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).
MA is available as liquid (molten) or solid (flake): the liquid form dominates and accounts for 90-95% of the market, which is not easily transportable.
MA is produced commercially by the oxidation of benzene or butane. The butane-based process is considered to have superior economics and is the preferred route by most producers. However, a small amount is produced by the benzene route.