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 Q4 2016
US phthalic anhydride (PA) prices followed orthoxylene (OX) in Q4 and are expected to continue doing so heading into Q1.
Contract molten and flake PA moved up 1 cent/lb and down 1.50 cents/lb during Q3, moving at a rollover in October.
Strong mixed xylene prices in September have remained a driver for OX in Q4. That strength carried PA prices in October despite some expectations of a decrease on balanced supply/demand.
One PA producer announced a 2.50 cents/lb increase to the adder on contracts from 1 January, 2017.
Phathalic anhydride (PA) spot prices in the southeast Asian spot market are expected to be stable-to-firm in Q4 amid tight supply. Several northeast Asian producers are planning to shut their plants for routine maintenance.
As a consequence, some suppliers started selling their allocated quantities of cargo for October and November cargo in September.
Europe phthalic anhydride (PA) spot prices are likely to stabilise in Q4 after a volatile few months. There is one planned maintenance shutdown in October, but provided there are no other unplanned closures, the market is expected to remain largely balanced throughout the quarter. Demand typically eases towards the end of the year. October contract prices decreased by €10/tonne in line with the orthoxylene (OX) settlement.
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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.