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 Q3 2018
A southeast Asian producer scheduled plant turnaround in Q3 and has started allocating to their regular customers. Propylene-based IPA producers, lamenting squeezed margins and lack of buying interest for their higher-priced material, would have to cut back on their production rates if acetone-based IPA prices become more competitive.
Downstream demand is typically weaker during the hottest months when most of the outdoor work is done in the cooler hours of the day. However, depending on the feedstock price direction, demand for IPA of a certain feedstock may increase amid more competitive offers than the other feedstock.
European isopropanal (IPA) availability will decrease in early August as a result of a planned turnaround at Novapex’s Roussillon site. However, potential availability will increase later in the quarter as a result of a 10,000 tonne/year capacity expansion at the same site, which will conclude in late August.
European IPA demand is expected to be relatively strong for seasonal reasons in early Q3. However, activity will fall in August which coincides with the typical holiday season in NWE and southern Europe. Demand will also be influenced by fluctuations in feedstock pricing, with the outlook unclear due to the volatile crude market.
Supply of US isopropanol (IPA) is expected to be good through Q3, as the supply of upstream feedstock propylene could lengthen as production from refineries and crackers improves. Propylene production from propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units is expected to remain strong following the start-up of a new plant.
Demand is expected to remain steady, supported by a strong US economy. While there was no clear uptick in demand attributable to the coatings season, there is still plenty of activity in the construction sector, where US sales of new homes in May were up by 14% year on 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.