Paraffin wax Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS offers trusted and reliable market intelligence for those buying or selling Paraffin wax or related products in the global Paraffin wax 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
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 Q1 2015
European paraffin wax prices are set to decrease substantially over the first quarter of 2015. With the fourth quarter of 2014 being the peak of the high season for candle production, the market was largely sheltered from the feedstock price collapse, with supply and demand fundamentals supporting the market. Demand is expected to still be high in the first quarter but not at quite the same level, and with crude oil having fallen even further, there is now significant pressure on prices.
In Asia, spot paraffin wax prices are likely to come under pressure from severe declines in crude oil prices. Paraffin wax domestic demand is expected to be slow towards the Lunar New Year holiday in China, along with sufficient supply in the market. Recovery in export demand might be limited should currencies in key import countries such as India and Malaysia remain weak, dampening interest for imports.
US paraffin wax prices and supply-demand dynamics are at an atypical point entering the first quarter of 2015, countering dips in wax prices in the key Asian market and in Europe. The reason is that the largest wax producer elected to eliminate two wax production streams in order to maximise its production opportunities in Group II+ base stocks.
As a net importer of paraffin waxes, the full effect of the reduced production is expected to permeate the first quarter US wax market. Low melt US fully refined wax supply is described as snug in January and expected to remain so during the first quarter.
The 150 meltpoint and slackwax supply outlook remains largely balanced with first-quarter demand expectations.
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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.