European isopropanol (IPA) producers are aiming to increase prices to improve margins, but lacklustre demand is preventing any potential firming, a trader said on 12 March.
“I know producers want to increase their prices,” the trader said. “But lack of demand compensates, so we have had steady prices for two weeks now.”
European IPA spot prices rolled over at €1,040-€1,110/tonne for technical grade and €1,140-€1,210/tonne for cosmetic and pharmaceutical grade.
Sources described availability as balanced-to-short, with participants from different parts of the market disagreeing on the supply and demand situation.
A trader suggested that a major producer had recently stopped bringing IPA into Europe because of higher import taxes, which had reduced availability.
“There is low seasonal demand from defrosters and windshield products and a bit of quietness in the market,” a second trader said. “Demand and availability are more or less in balance… I don’t see really too much change in prices.”
However, some buyers and producers said demand was strong, with one producer indicating that it was selling high volumes.
One buyer said: “We have very high demand compared to the same period last year, roughly 20 percent higher.”
“We have a number of different applications, for example intermediating products, with our main demand being focussed on cosmetics.”
IPA spot prices are assessed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.