Our weekly Melamine reports are published for Asia, Europe and the US. Price assessments gathered by our locally based reporters cover spot business in Asia, contract and spot in Europe, and contract only in the US.
The market analysis in the commentary section offers overviews of regional activity, upstream news, production updates, graphs, and any other key factors influencing prices. This independent market intelligence can assist you in making those crucial commercial choices with confidence.
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Melamine: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2016
European melamine second-quarter contract negotiations are ongoing, with the market currently spilt as to the outcome. Buyers continue to target stable-to-soft prices, on the back of improving supply and previous quarterly contract price increase. Suppliers on the other hand are targeting price increases a supply remained balanced-to-snug and on a healthy level of demand. The existing anti-dumping duties against China are scheduled to expire on 14 May. A request to extend the existing duties has been filed to the European Commission by European producers, with the market currently awaiting the decision.
Asia’s melamine spot prices are likely to remain stable with the current slow demand expected to recover in April and May when downstream sectors resume restocking activities during the traditional manufacturing season. Producers are expected to continue to target higher prices in anticipation of an increase in the cost of production amid higher electricity prices.
US melamine negotiations for Q2 contracts are ongoing, but contracts that have settled thus far have been done at a rollover from Q1, market participants said. The country's melamine producer, Cornerstone Chemical, previously made customers aware that it intended to roll prices over. The producer has seen some contract settlements at a rollover, it said.
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Melamine was originally manufactured by heating dicyandiamide under pressure. Currently, melamine is produced by the decomposition of urea into cyanic acid and ammonia in an endothermic reaction. Cyanic acid is then polymerised to form melamine and carbon dioxide.
Its most important reaction is that with formaldehyde, forming resinous compounds of high molecular weight. The construction and automotive industries figure high in driving melamine growth. Container and coil coatings, laminates and flame retardant uses have all experienced growth in recent years.
Melamine is used in the production of moulding powder to make dinner ware, coatings in cars, fan coils and appliances. Other uses include adhesive resins, which are used in the making of wood panels for the construction of kitchens, bathrooms, furniture and flooring. Melamine is produced by heating urea, ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide, of which the resulting mixture of isocyanic and ammonia reacts over a solid catalyst at about 400ºC.
Melamine is moderately toxic by ingestion and a skin and eye irritant.