The ICIS Phthalic anhydride reports will keep you informed and up-to-date with market movements in Asia, Europe and the US. Our network of locally-based reporters publish weekly price assessments for spot and contract, depending on the region.
Market news and analysis includes an overview, regional updates, upstream information and graphs. This vital tool is essential for market players keeping abreast of price movements allowing key decisions to be made.
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Phthalic anhydride: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2017
India’s IG Petrochemicals is still running its 166,000 tonne/year plant at Taloja, India at 70% capacity following its scheduled maintenance in August. Meanwhile, South Korea’s OCI plans to shut its 80,000 tonne/year plant at Pohang, South Korea for scheduled maintenance from 23 October to 1 November.
Industry sources expect demand to remain stable in the fourth quarter. Some industry sources are expecting supply to be tight amid scheduled maintenance. Northeast Asian producers are also channelling cargoes into markets further afield such as the US. However, without demand for spot import cargoes from the key China market, some market participants are expecting supply to be balanced.
The supply of phthalic anhydride (PA) in Q4 in Europe is expected to remain quite steady. All European plants are said to be running to plan, athough there is talk of hiccups at CEPSA’s site in Algeciras, Spain. There are no scheduled maintenance programmes heard from players in the short term.
Demand in the phthalic anhydride (PA) market is largely covered by contractual volumes for Q4 following the upstream orthoxylene (OX) contract price. Demand in October and November is expected to remain largely steady, while December is likely to see the usual end of year slow down as customers look to end 2017 with low stocks.
While PA is not produced on the US Gulf coast and thus not immediately impacted by Hurricane Harvey, the storm shut down plants that produce feedstock orthoxylene (OX). The fourth quarter could see tightened PA supply as a result.
Demand for fourth quarter is uncertain because of Hurricane Harvey's disruption of the petrochemical sector. Prices are expected to increase.
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Phthalic anhydride news & analysis
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Phthalic Anhydride Methodology
About Phthalic anhydride
Phthalic anhydride (PA) occurs as white solid in various forms or clear molten liquid, with an irritating odour. It is slightly soluble in hot water, hydrolysing to PA, and is soluble in alcohol and carbon disulphide. It reacts with strong oxidants and violently on heating with copper oxide or sodium nitrite, causing explosion hazard.
The major outlet for PA, accounting for just over half of production, is in the manufacture of phthalate plasticisers, the main product being dioctyl phthalate (DOP) which is used as a plasticiser in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The second largest outlet is in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) which are usually blended with glass fibres to produce fibreglass-reinforced plastics. Principal markets are construction, marine and transportation.
The third largest outlet is PA-based alkyd resins, which are used in solvent-based coatings for architectural, machinery, furniture and fixture applications.
Small volume uses for PA include the manufacture of dyes and pigments, detergents, herbicides and insecticides, fire retardants, saccharin and polyester resin cross-linking agents.