Methylene chloride Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS offers trusted and reliable market intelligence for those buying or selling Methylene chloride or related products in the global Methylene chloride market.
Our reporters across Asia, Europe and the US keep in touch with local markets, bringing you price assessments, in-depth news and analysis which you can rely on to guide you in your commercial decisions.
Our editor gives their expert view
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
Asia's methylene chloride prices are likely to fluctuate with feedstock prices amid stable supply and demand fundamentals. Methylene chloride can be made through three manufacturing processes which depend on the price and availability of methanol or chlorine. Prices of both methanol and chlorine feedstock for the production of methylene chloride have risen in the last few months, lending to high production costs. Methanol prices are likely to be stable-to-firm in the long run, while chlorine prices are extremely hard to predict. As it is a difficult liquid to be transported, a shutdown of a single chlorine plant can affect regional prices significantly, market sources said.
European prices are expected to remain flat, There is little upside price rise evidence as there is no seasonality for demand and availability remains high. However, sellers insist that the only possible trajectory is up as prices had bottomed out. Producers are attempting to raise prices on the back of rising methanol feedstock contract price, despite increased competition coupled with sluggish demand.
Market participants pointed out the influence of feedstock on methylene chloride in Europe is not strong.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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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.