The ICIS Phthalic anhydride reports will keep you informed and up-to-date with market movements in Asia, Europe and the US. Our network of locally-based reporters publish weekly price assessments for spot and contract, depending on the region.
Market news and analysis includes an overview, regional updates, upstream information and graphs. This vital tool is essential for market players keeping abreast of price movements allowing key decisions to be made.
Phthalic anhydride Overview
Phthalic anhydride (PA) can be produced from two routes, either from the catalytic oxidation of orthoxylene (OX) or from the catalytic oxidation of naphthalene. In Asia the major outlet for PA is used to make phthalate plasticizers such as dioctylphthalate (DOP) which is used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The second largest use of PA is in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), used to produce fibre-glassed reinforced polyester resins.
World wide growth rates for PA are expected to average just under 3% per year over the next few years. The highest growth rates are in Asia.
Consumption of PA is mainly dependent on the growth in consumption of flexible PVC, which is sensitive to general economic conditions as it is consumed in the construction and automobile industries.
In Asia, the majority of PA cargoes are traded on a spot basis. Key factors that influence prices are movements in feedstock OX, sentiment and market conditions in the downstream DOP segment and the availability of supply.
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Phthalic anhydride news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Phthalic anhydride analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Phthalic anhydride marketplace.
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Phthalic anhydride: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2016
Phthalic anhydride (PA) prices in the import markets of China and southeast Asia should experience a steady increase at the start of Q2 following a strong finish in Q1. The uptrend may taper off as buyers are expected resist higher prices amid weak downstream demand.
European PA market participants are expecting an increase in the upstream orthoxylene (OX) contract price, which would be passed on to PA contract prices. PA sellers hope to pass on any potential contract price hikes onto spot prices too. Improving seasonal demand for PA may support prices.
US PA contract pricing faces uncertainty as market participants are unsure of how the formula-based price structure will be handled going forward. The exit of BASF from the North American PA market in Q4 2015 leaves only Koppers and Stepan to sell molten-grade PA to the US merchant market. There is mounting pressure for US PA to not follow the feedstock orthoxylene (OX) contract price penny-for-penny, if OX continues to fall with crude oil prices.
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Phthalic Anhydride Methodology
About Phthalic anhydride
Phthalic anhydride (PA) occurs as white solid in various forms or clear molten liquid, with an irritating odour. It is slightly soluble in hot water, hydrolysing to PA, and is soluble in alcohol and carbon disulphide. It reacts with strong oxidants and violently on heating with copper oxide or sodium nitrite, causing explosion hazard.
The major outlet for PA, accounting for just over half of production, is in the manufacture of phthalate plasticisers, the main product being dioctyl phthalate (DOP) which is used as a plasticiser in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The second largest outlet is in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) which are usually blended with glass fibres to produce fibreglass-reinforced plastics. Principal markets are construction, marine and transportation.
The third largest outlet is PA-based alkyd resins, which are used in solvent-based coatings for architectural, machinery, furniture and fixture applications.
Small volume uses for PA include the manufacture of dyes and pigments, detergents, herbicides and insecticides, fire retardants, saccharin and polyester resin cross-linking agents.