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 Q2 2016
The European methylene chloride market is balanced to well supplied early in the second quarter of 2016, despite INOVYN’s closure of its chloromethane plant at Runcorn, in the UK, which took effect on 1 March 2016. There is some feeling among market players that the full effects of the permanent closure of INOVYN’s chloromethane Runcorn plant may only materialise during the second quarter, or possibly slightly later in the year, once any existing stocks from the Runcorn site have been used up. There is some talk that a spate of upstream chloralkali plant maintenance turnarounds during the second quarter, combined with the INOVYN Runcorn plant shutdown may also lead to tighter supply. However, the latter will also depend on demand, which remains largely steady, and the reliability of other production units during this period.
Domestic demand in the key China market is picking up, as one of the key downstream markets, the refrigerant sector, enters the traditional peak season. The support from the refrigerant market is expected to last until September or October, according to producers, and they generally deem local Chinese market as more lucrative compared with the export market. However, regional producers in Asia still sense the intense competition as southeast Asian demand showed little growth. Indian prices were at the same time largely stable, reflecting limited changes expected in the supply-demand fundamentals.
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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.