The Methylene Chloride report is published weekly in Asia and Europe by ICIS' locally-based reporters. The trusted price assessments cover spot markets in both regions. Unbiased and informative market commentary includes intelligence on regional movements, upstream impacts and any relevant production issues at the time of publication as well as a wider overview.
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Methylene chloride Overview Transcript
Methylene chloride is a chlorinated solvent used in a wide variety of applications. In the solvent sector it is often used as a paint stripper, metal degreaser and general use solvent,
However, many of these uses are being phased out gradually because of methylene chloride’s potential toxicity.
It is also a key feedstock for the refrigerant R410a which is widely used in industrial and commercial applications. Because it does not deplete the ozone R410a has replaced a number of refrigerants.
Methylene chloride supply is tight after capacity rationalisation hit the market a few years ago. With strengthening demand from the refrigerants sector, the chemical’s future looks strong.
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Methylene chloride: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2016
European methylene chloride players said that they do not expect any significant summer slowdown in activity, although some players said that lower activity is likely in southern Europe in August, which is the prime holiday period. There is some talk that prices are likely to remain relatively stable during the third quarter, as any softening in demand during the summer is likely to be weighed against the rise in upstream methanol contract costs for the third quarter, preparation for forthcoming cell conversions and a few upstream chlorine plant maintenance turnarounds during the summer.
Spot prices for methylene chloride in the key China export market were assessed at $380-400/tonne FOB China for the week ended 5 July. Most market participants said supply-demand fundamentals have been stable for the last quarter and they do not anticipate much volatilities in prices and supply-demand balances in the near term. Players continued to keep a close eye on the China situation in an overall oversupplied market and demand in other Asia regions was not expecting any immediate recoveries.
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Methylene Chloride Methodology
About Methylene chloride
Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is a chlorinated hydrocarbon produced by the chlorination of chloromethane. Further chlorination of the mixture of chlorinated methanes results in chloroform and carbon tetrachloride being produced.
Methylene chloride’s ability to dissolve a wide range of organic compounds makes it a useful solvent for many chemical processes. It is also used as a paint stripper and metal cleaning and finishing. Other applications include aerosol propellants, foam blowing, extraction medium in food processes, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
While methylene dichloride is the least toxic of the simple chlorohydrocarbons, it has health risks due to its volatility. It is also considered to be a potential occupational carcinogen. As a result, alternatives have been sought in many applications.