Phthalic anhydride Prices, markets & analysis
For those looking to keep abreast of the global Phthalic anhydride market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Phthalic anhydride or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Phthalic anhydride market as they happen. Our network of price reporters throughout Asia, Europe and the US provide key local insights. We collate this intelligence into daily and weekly price reports, ensuring you have the up-to-date information you need at all times.
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: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
US phthalic anhydride (PA) contract prices will follow the feedstock orthoxylene (OX) price trend in Q4. PA demand will soften somewhat as the market enters its slow season, while two producers have turnarounds. PA contract prices typically settle on the delta of the previous month’s OX price.
In Europe, the PA contract price is likely to move in line with the OX €15/tonne decrease in October. Demand was slow in September, which prompted some to question the activity levels in October. Spot prices could go down in the traditionally quiet fourth quarter and given decreasing OX prices in Asia.
Asia PA spot prices may have room to fall further in the fourth quarter, although some market players think that prices have touched the bottom after slumping to four-year lows on the back of declining feedstock OX prices. Any rebound in prices is likely to be capped in view of current weak market sentiments and an ample availability of lower-priced domestic cargoes in China.
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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.