ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information for the Bisphenol A markets on a weekly basis. Spot prices can be followed in Asia, China and Europe, while monthly contract prices are also reported in Europe.
Discover the influencing factors driving prices in each region and receive reports via our Dashboard service, email or ftp. Our news, analysis and market intelligence will give you the confidence to make informed commercial decisions.
Updated to Q2 2019
Asia-Pacific bisphenol A (BPA) markets were undermined by bearish market conditions even as spot supply availability was relatively balanced. The US-China trade war during most of the second quarter weighed on China’s economy as its currency weakened. But upstream raw material phenol markets held firm, as regional suppliers maintained their asking levels to protect margins.
Poor demand for BPA in both Chinese domestic markets and on the import front generated downwards pressure on spot prices during the second quarter. The US-China trade war along with China’s weakened currency against the US dollar hurt import demand, as buyers confined purchases to domestic markets where necessary. Tepid downstream epoxy resins and polycarbonate demand in northeast Asia dampened market sentiment for a while during the later part of the second quarter.
The European bisphenol A (BPA) contract market was well-covered to well-supplied during the second quarter. In April, import supply fell due to the prospect of higher demand in China, but this failed to materialise. There was renewed interest in exporting volumes from Asia to Europe, as the second quarter progressed, amid weak Asian demand. In June, BPA spot supply was lengthy, particularly in view of subdued downstream demand.
BPA demand failed to reach high-season expectations during the second quarter. The derivative polycarbonate market was subdued due to downstream automotive weakness for macroeconomic reasons. The derivative epoxy resins sector saw a moderate seasonal Q2 demand uptick, but it was not the seasonal peak typically expected, amid a fragile economic climate.
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Bisphenol-A (BPA) occurs as white crystals or flakes with a slightly phenolic odour. It is soluble in ether, ethyl alcohol, acetone and slightly soluble in water.
The main outlet for BPA is in the manufacture of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is used in a variety of applications such as optical media industry, electrical and electronic, construction, automotive and packaging.
BPA is driven primarily by increasingly strong demand for polycarbonate resins.
The second largest end use of BPA is epoxy resins. There are several types of epoxy resins but those based on BPA and epichlorohydrin account for the majority. High performance coatings are one of the primary applications followed by electrical/electronic laminates, adhesives, flooring and paving applications, mainly in the automotive, construction and aerospace industries.
Other key uses of BPA include flame retardants (mainly tetrabromobisphenol A), unsaturated polyester resins and polyacrylate, polyetherimide and polysulphone resins.