ICIS offers up-to-date reliable pricing information on the Paraffin wax market weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. Our comprehensive reports cover domestic and spot price assessments while commentary gives an overview detailing the factors that influence price moves.
If you are involved in this industry, you can use our news and analysis to help support those vital business choices.
Our editor gives their expert view
Paraffin wax Overview Transcript
There are many uses for paraffin wax from cosmetics through to packaging. However the production of candles is by far the largest consuming sector for paraffin wax.
Paraffin wax is derived from slack wax, a by-product of Group 1 Base Oil production and is classified according to oil content, melting point and the amount of processing put in. There is little investment in Group 1 Base Oils production because of shifting global demand patterns.
Moreover paraffin wax faces challenges from possible natural alternatives such as soy and palm oil.
The price of paraffin wax can be influenced by upstream factors such as crude oil price fluctuations. In addition, demand for paraffin wax and candles can be influenced by wider economic concerns. These challenges along side the global nature of the business make it a complex market place.
Anyone involved in the paraffin wax business who wants to understand what is happening should read the ICIS report .
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Paraffin wax news and market information products from ICIS
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Paraffin wax: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2016
Europe paraffin wax prices are likely to remain stable during July and early August as holidays mean downstream operations will be low. As demand picks up in later in August and September, prices normally increase. However, the market is well supplied with Chinese imports and buyers are currently building inventories while activity is slow.
The US market remains balanced in supply/demand factors amid price stability. Expectations that Group I closures in Europe would clamp supply failed to materialise, with Chinese imports holding US supply steady. Slackwax supply is also stable, with most sellers saying that supply is readily moved into the market amid widely balanced factors. Additionally, closure of ExxonMobil’s Beaumont, Texas, Group I base oil and wax facility has tightened US paraffin wax supply for fully refined waxes.
Paraffin wax prices in Asia should be largely stable in Q3 2016, without any foreseeable major changes in fundamentals, and demand from India is likely to remain weak due to increased supply and competitive domestic pricing. However, market uncertainty in upstream crude markets brings volatility which could affect gasoil - and paraffin wax - prices.
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Paraffin Wax Methodology
About Paraffin wax
Paraffin waxes are classified according to oil content, melting point, and the amount of processing put in. At room temperature paraffin wax can be found in a solid state, when it reaches 37°C and above the wax will begin to enter a liquid phase.
At the simplest level, slack wax, a byproduct of base oil refining, is the feedstock from which different grades of more sophisticated waxes are produced. Fully refined waxes are white, odourless and tasteless, and have less than 0.5% oil content.
They are widely used for candle making and in the packaging industry as wax coatings for paper, film and foil substrates including corrugated board, cups and container. Waxes are marketed in either liquid or solid state.
Other common uses are for corrugated boxes, waxed papers, frozen food cartons and wrappers, paper cups, candles, cosmetics, rubber antioxidants, lumber end seal, adhesives, protective coatings, food additives, cheese dipping, crayons, moisture barriers, polishes, modelling clay, plus many others.