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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Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
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Phthalic anhydride: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2016
PA spot prices in the southeast Asian spot market are expected to soften in the third quarter as most northeast Asian producers have completed their respective planned turnarounds in the second quarter. Demand in southeast Asia is expected to be stable. Spot prices in the CFR CMP market are expected to track the Chinese domestic market, which is expected to be weak.
The European phthalic anhydride (PA) market has been tight in the second half of Q2 and is expected to remain so in Q3 when there are a few maintenance shutdowns planned. The July contract price rolled over on stable orthoxylene (OX) contract prices, but further spot price adjustments are possible depending on spot availability during the shutdowns.
What happens in the US PA market in Q3 will depend on whether tightness in the flake market continues. Flake material has been said to be hard to come by during the summer. It is unclear if that shortness will continue into the fall. Meanwhile, downstream demand in the plasticizer sector could also play a role in PA movement.
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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.