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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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 2017
In Asia, supply is expected to be a little tight for a while on the back of planned maintenance in South Korea and Japan. These shutdowns range from a week to about 40 days. Overall, these plant turnarounds are not expected to make a huge impact on spot availability as producers will have allocated stocks to sell even during the maintenance period. IPA supply is also dependent on feedstocks acetone and propylene inventories.
Demand in Asia is expected to be strong, bolstered by strong downstream demand in inks, paints and coatings. Traditionally, the demand for IPA is stronger than Q3 because of better weather and also because end-users are preparing in anticipation for the new year. Strong demand and a bullish outlook of feedstocks acetone and propylene is expected to drive IPA prices firmer in Q4.
Early indications are that isopropanol (IPA) availability will improve in Q4 due to production issues at Shell being resolved in late August and the steady progress made on fixing production and logistics problems in the US. Spot prices have already begun to trend downwards in October as the market has rebalanced.
Isopropanol (IPA) demand is expected to fall off for seasonal reasons towards the end of the year. The paints and coatings industries are typically quiet in winter due to reduced activity in the construction sector. In addition, destocking is expected towards the end of the year for balance sheet reasons. However, demand for de-icers should pick up in Q4 which will be a counterbalance.
US IPA supply is expected to be somewhat constrained during the early part of the fourth quarter as upstream production continues to regain momentum after Hurricane Harvey. More broadly, supply was likely to remain mostly steady through the end of the year, as market conditions, including transportation logistics, continue to improve.
During a quarter in which demand and pricing usually drops off with the Christmas and US Thanksgiving holidays, as well as year-end destocking, some domestic IPA sources anticipate more stable demand amid Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. There is debate, however, as to whether demand will begin to gain significant momentum late in the quarter or become more evident early next year.
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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.