The ICIS Isopropanol (IPA) report is published weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. Our price assessments cover spot activity and, in Europe, technical, and cosmetic and pharmaceutical grades are quoted.
Locally based reporters gather market intelligence and compile commentary to cover regional activity, production issues, upstream and downstream news, as well as economic indications. The independent and unbiased information helps support you to make business decisions with confidence.
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Isopropanol news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Isopropanol analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Isopropanol marketplace.
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Isopropanol: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2018
The continued shutdown of a major exporter and the delayed restart of another suggests that supply is likely to be tight in Q4. Given the gap in values between feedstocks acetone and propylene, acetone-based IPA is likely to be more popular with buyers, and could result in an the tighter supply of acetone-based IPA.
Demand in Asia is likely to strengthen, bolstered by robust downstream demand for inks, paints and coatings, at least in the first half of the quarter. This is when downstream manufacturers prepare in anticipation of end-year and New Year festivities. Demand is likely taper off towards the end of the quarter as downstream demand slows.
The European IPA market is likely to remain fairly balanced in the fourth quarter of the year with major producers having finished their annual turnarounds. Low levels of the river Rhine, which have been causing logistical constraints, are also expected to improve in the last quarter of the year.
Demand is expected to decrease in line with the traditional seasonal slowdown at the end of the year. In a balanced market, prices will continue tracking the movement of the upstream propylene market in the last quarter of 2018.
Supply of US isopropanol (IPA) is expected to be good in Q4. Supply may see some tightening early in the quarter as European producer INEOS had a turnaround in September at its plant in Moers, Germany. The market will be keeping a close eye on the upstream supply of propylene, which is an essential feedstock in IPA production.
Demand is expected to remain steady in Q4, supported by a stronger US economy. IPA, which is used in paints and resins, typically sees peak demand in the summer, but a late start to winter suggests that the coatings season could extend into November.
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Isopropanol news & analysis
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Isopropanol (IPA) is a clear, colourless, mobile liquid with an alcoholic odour. It is miscible with water and ethyl alcohol and reacts with strong oxidants.
IPA, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a low-cost solvent used in many industrial and consumer products and as an extractant. Outlets include cosmetics and personal care products, de-icers, paints and resins, pharmaceuticals, food, inks and adhesives. It is also used as solvent for oil and gums and in the manufacture of fishmeal concentrates. Low-grade IPA is used in motor oils.
Other applications include its use as a cleaning and drying agent in the manufacture of electronic parts and metals, and as an aerosol solvent in medical and veterinary products. It can also be used as a coolant in beer manufacture, a coupling agent, a polymerisation modifier, a de-icing agent and a preservative.
Some chemical compounds are manufactured from IPA, in particular derivative ketones, such as methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), isopropylamines and isopropyl esters.