Epichlorohydrin is covered by ICIS in Asia and Europe on a weekly basis. In Asia, price assessments focus on spot activity, while in Europe it is a monthly contract price.
Both reports give commentary including news and analysis on the Epichlorohydrin markets, upstream and downstream markets, graph,s and any other factors driving prices. If you are a involved in epichlorohydrin, or related markets, this intelligence will help you be equipped with the most up-to-date information when making vital business choices.
Updated to Q1 2020
Supply was healthy at the beginning of the quarter with most regional plants keeping to normal operations, even in China where much of downstream production was halted on lockdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, supply tightened from March, after some regional turnarounds commenced, and plants in China also started to pare down operations to manage inventories, as the latter grew with poor domestic sales.
With downstream epoxy resins plants in China shut for the first half of the quarter, on coronavirus-induced lockdowns, China’s ECH makers found no takers for their cargoes. Even after the epoxy resins plants started up in March, off-take rate remains lacklustre, as epoxy resins plants kept to low operating ratios given poor demand conditions in their own downstream markets.
Views on supply ranged from finely balanced to snug during Q1, due to some residual logistical effects earlier in the quarter linked to lengthy French strike action, followed by a spate of output constraints due to technical issues and turnarounds. Imports remained structurally limited, compounded by virus-related import disruption.
Europe ECH demand held up well during Q1, despite the coronavirus pandemic hitting Europe in March. Downstream demand for water treatments and personal care/hygiene products was buoyed by the virus situation and offtake from the epoxy resins sector was also relatively solid, supported by some reduced availability in February/March and some specific segment and short-term demand wins.
We offer the following regional Epichlorohydrin analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Epichlorohydrin marketplace.
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ECH is a colourless liquid with an irritating chloroform-like odour. Both chlorine and propylene are used to make ECH, which is used as a chemical intermediate together with bis-phenol A (BPA) in the manufacture of epoxy resins.
Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is a clear, colourless liquid with a sweet, pungent odour. The main production process is based on the chlorination of propylene to make allyl chloride as the intermediate step to ECH.
Around three-quarters of global ECH demand is used to make epoxy resins which offer corrosion resistance, solvent and chemical resistance, hardness and adhesion. They are used in the manufacture of adhesives, coatings and structural parts for the automotive, aerospace, electronics and construction industries. The electronics industry uses epoxy resins to encapsulate electronic components and protect them from damage.
Other uses for ECH include preparation of fibres in textile manufacture, improving the performance of paper products, and ion exchange resins.
It has been a tough period for chlor-alkali producers as recent months showed a sharp downturn in margins for caustic soda. This scenario threatens to bring to an end the period of strong margins, despite some signs of a limited rebound earlier in Q4 2019. Across all major markets, calculated margins based on the co-production of caustic soda and ethylene dichloride (EDC) have weakened substantially since October 2018.
Like many others, if you are looking for ways to unveil answers to key industry questions then come and join us at the 24th World Chlor-alkali Conference organised by ICIS and Tecnon Orbichem. This 1.5 day event has been a home for key industry players in the value chain, having welcomed hundreds of delegates each year. Take a first look at the key offerings in 2020.