Glycol ethers prices, markets & analysis

The ICIS Glycol Ether reports are published in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis. Asia and US markets focus on both the ethylene and propylene based glycol ethers within this report, while in Europe these are published separately as glycol ethers and propylene glycol ethers.

Our locally based reporters gather market intelligence on demand, supply, upstream movements, production schedules and any other key factors influencing prices at the time. Follow our universally-trusted reports to help you make informed commercial decisions.

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Glycol ethers Overview Transcript


Glycol ethers are made up of several types of chemicals, and due to them being characteristically soluble in water they are used primarily for solvents like paints and coatings.


They can also be used to make inks, cleaning products and pharmaceuticals among others.


Butyl glycol, PM solvent and PM acetate are some of the key chemicals found in the glycol ethers chain.


The glycol ethers market is a developing market in Asia, with growth being driven by the rapid economic expansion in countries like China which is the region’s largest solvent market.


Glycol ethers is a derivative from ethylene and propylene. It is found E series and P series, for their link with ethylene and propylene respectively. Butyl glycol, known and BG, is produced directly from normal butanol, while PM acetate and PM solvent come from propylene oxide.


With regard to BG, China and Southeast Asia are the two main importing markets. There are few plants in China, Malaysia and Japan but this is not enough to meet the demand. Hence BG is imported by global producers from their US and European plants, the market trends in the US and Europe impact market sentiment and prices in Asia.


Asia’s BG market is also influenced by the trends in upstream markets like normal butanol.


PM solvent and PM acetate is a fairly self-sufficient market within Asia. Both are produced in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Malaysia. PM solvent and PM acetate are usually traded jointly and the main buyers are found in southeast Asia. China has some local production, which is sold in parts to the local domestic market as well as into the region. PM solvent and PM acetate markets are also influenced by upstream markets like propylene and propylene oxide.

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