The weekly Ethylene dichloride report is a global report encompassing updates from Asia, Europe and the US.
Each region provides news and market intelligence on upstream developments, production, demand and any other influencing factors. All areas focus on spot prices with quotes published for NWE, USG and NE Asia. The data and commentary provides you with a reliable source of independent information essential for making business decisions within this area of the industry.
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Ethylene dichloride: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2018
Supply from the U.S, a major exporter to Asia, could remain somewhat tight in Q2, with several U.S. producers on scheduled turnaround. However, U.S. supply is not expected to be as short as it was in Q1, since the plant outage issue in Brazil has been largely resolved. However, some excess supply from the Middle East to Asia could materialise, as demand from its usual market of India is expected to decline from the second half of Q2, with the approach of the seasonal monsoon lull from June onwards.
Spot demand for EDC in Asia is likely to remain stable in Q2, as long as margins from caustic soda remain healthy, since integrated chlor-alkali producers are likely to continue keeping plant operating rates high, thereby capping the demand for spot EDC imports. However, EDC demand may improve if these producers deem it more economical to import EDC in light of expected higher ethylene prices in Q2.
European EDC supply is expected to remain mostly constant in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first. There are some planned turnarounds for PVC and related systems in the second quarter, but these have been anticipated by the market and are unlikely to lead to tightness as a result of low structural demand for spot material.
European EDC demand is expected to rise in the second quarter as a result of greater demand for downstream PVC. About 95% of EDC produced is used to create vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which is in turn used in the production of PVC. PVC demand typically rises in the second quarter compared to the first due to increased activity in the downstream construction industry. However, EDC spot demand in Europe is unlikely to be affected, except in the event of unplanned issues with production, because most capacity is integrated into PVC production systems.
Supply of EDC should improve on seasonal demand factors as US producers gear up for peak PVC production season. Likewise, a number of vinyls plant maintenance outages are likely to push some US EDC supply into export markets. Braskem's Maceio plant has also restarted, ending that emergency demand situation.
Demand for the upstream feedstock to PVC production will likely grow stronger during the second quarter as peak demand season for PVC approaches. Incremental volumes will also be more available for export markets.
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Ethylene Dichloride EDC Methodology
About Ethylene dichloride
Ethylene dichloride (EDC) is a clear, colourless, oily liquid with a sweet, pleasant chloroform-like odour. It is highly volatile, toxic, flammable and miscible with chlorinated hydrocarbons and most organic solvents. It reacts violently with aluminium, alkali metals, alkali amides, ammonia, bases, strong oxidants and attacks many metals in presence of water.
Around 95% of EDC is used in the production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), nearly all of which goes into polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Other outlets for EDC are chlorinated solvents such as ethyleneamines, trichloroethylene, vinylidene chloride and trichloroethane. It is used as an intermediate in the production of perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene) and as a catalyst in hexachlorophene production.
EDC has been used as a solvent in the textile, metal cleaning and adhesives industries. Solvent markets tend to be mature due to environmental pressures to reduce emissions and declining in the case of perchloroethylene.