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 Q2 2016
US paraffin waxes are in supply/demand balance at the outset of Q2 2016 and expected to remain so during the quarter. Despite the closure of ExxonMobil’s Beaumont, Texas, Group I base oil and wax facility and expectations of short paraffin wax supply, the market continues to be stable. Wax imports from China are a key factor in the balance alongside flat US demand. Additionally, the use of alternative waxes such as soy wax and palm wax is increasing.
European paraffin wax prices may begin to increase midway through the second quarter as demand picks up in line with normal seasonality. Typically, demand will increase during May and stay high until around October/November. However, another factor will be whether or not competitively priced imports from China continue to be available; such imports have pressured domestic prices recently and their continued presence could offset the impact of capacity rationalisation that took place at the start of this year and in late 2015.
In Asia, paraffin wax export prices from China are expected to climb slightly in the second quarter as upstream gasoil values continue to show a slow but steady recovery. Curtailed supply from northeast Chinese producers could provide support to prices even though import demand from India has declined due to the start-up of a new domestic plant.
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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.