Methyl isobutyl ketone Prices, markets & analysis
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Methyl isobutyl ketone Overview Transcript
MIBK is methyl isobutyl ketone. It is a solvent that is derived from acetone and other chemicals. It goes into a wide range of applications from consumer goods and pesticides, pharmaceuticals to industrial uses such as the production of paints, rubber products and machinery.
Some of the household products containing MIBK include things like surface cleaners, laundry starch, spray paint, shoe polish, varnish and so on.
The big commercial applications would be in the paints and coatings sector so the housing and construction industries and automobile sectors are really quite important to MIBK demand. In the last couple of years, those areas have not been doing so well. So, we consider MIBK to be a fairly mature market
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Methyl isobutyl ketone: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
In Asia, prices are likely to be stable-to-weak in Q4, on the back of a seasonal downstream lull. Although supply is expected to tighten as a major producer is shut in October, the impact is unlikely to offset the bearish sentiments during the quarter.
In Europe, prices could be spiked, as the supply of feedstock propylene is expected to become tighter due to Shell’s force majeure, albeit there is no confirmation. Spot demand is consistently low as most material is tied up in contracts, and expected to be even weaker over the Christmas period.
The US market is likely to be flat. Several suppliers sought 4–5 cent increases for September, but those were not accepted in the market. Sentiment from market participants was that those increases were tied to a temporary spike of propylene.
The MIBK market has also been suffering from competition from butyl acetate (butac). Many MIBK users have substituted butac for MIBK, as both are used in the high-end coatings sector. Butac prices – although trending up in recent months – still remain below MIBK prices.
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Methyl Isobutyl Ketone Methodology
About Methyl isobutyl ketone
Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) is an excellent solvent for resins used in the production of surface coatings. The main solvent applications are in transportation, refurnishing and marine coatings, construction coatings, wood coatings and metal coatings.
MIBK is also used in rubber chemicals for the production of tyres, as a solvent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and adhesives, and for specialised metallurgical extraction.
The two main processes for making MIBK are from acetone condensation and isopropanol (IPA).
MIBK is a colourless liquid with a characteristic ketone odour. It is highly flammable and vapours may travel to the source of ignition and flashback.