The Toluene markets are covered by ICIS weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. This reliable and trustworthy tool allows you to stay up-to-date with news and analysis and gives you the confidence to make vital commercial decisions.
Price assessments cover spot activity over the week as well as at close of business in the day, and contract prices are also published in Europe. This market intelligence is compiled by our locally-based reporters and commentary includes news on deals taking place, feedstock movements, demand and supply trends, outlooks, regional focus as well as graphs.
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Toluene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Toluene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Toluene marketplace.
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Toluene: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2017
European toluene prices are starting to see some recovery in April following some downward movement towards the end of the first quarter. The switch to summer specifications in the gasoline market has pushed prices higher, and demand for fuel gasoline is anticipated to pick up as the summer months approach. This should support demand for toluene from the blending sector.
Asia toluene demand is also expected to rebound in the second quarter of the year because of the seasonal weather change in northeast Asia, better end-user offtaking before Ramadan holidays and the closing of the financial year on 31 March in India. However, the abundant supply situation in northeast and southeast Asia is expected to continue into May and June, which could neutralise expectations of better demand.
US toluene prices are likely to track developments in crude oil and gasoline markets in the second quarter. Crude oil futures on the NYMEX moved back above $50/bbl late in the quarter after dropping into the high $40s/bbl in March. The shift from winter to summer gasoline blends during the second quarter will result in a boost for toluene demand from gasoline blenders and should support firmer toluene prices. On the chemical side, toluene demand may also pick up as the upcoming start-ups of some styrene plants in the US will result in stronger benzene consumption while the impending high season for bottled beverages will spur stronger chemical demand for xylenes.
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Toluene news & analysis
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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Toluene is a colourless, mobile liquid with a characteristic sweet, pungent, benzene-like odour. It is an irritant to the eyes, skin, nose and lungs. Toluene is a dangerous fire hazard and can lead to a flashback due to its heavy vapour.
The main chemical use of toluene is to make benzene and xylenes using a number of technologies.
Toluene is also used in solvent applications and is consumed in the manufacture of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) which is used in the manufacture of polyurethane foams. Smaller uses for TDI include polyurethane elastomers and coatings.
Other minor chemical uses include the manufacture of phenol, caprolactam, nitrobenzene, benzoic acid and benzyl chloride.
In non-chemical uses, toluene is used in large quantities as an octane booster in gasoline but most of that portion remains in the refinery streams.
There are three grades of toluene: TDI grade of 99+% purity; nitration grade at 98.5-100%.
The original source of toluene from coke-oven gas has been replaced by the catalytic reforming of naphthas and from pyrolysis gasoline co-produced in the steam cracking of liquid feedstocks. A very small amount is still produced from light oil formed by the carbonisation of coal.