Get the latest data, tools and insight for various ethylene glycol (EG) by-products – monoethylene glycol (MEG), triethylene glycol (TEG) and diethylene glycol (DEG) – with ICIS pricing and market intelligence.
Our short-to-long term solutions – from pricing, analytics, industry news and supply and demand data –
ensure that you can evaluate EG markets from every angle.
Updated to Q2 2021
Supply in Asia increased following the start-up of three major MEG units in China with a total capacity of 2.6m tonnes/year, although the lengthened supply was offset by rising exports to Europe, amid the open arbitrage window.
Downstream polyester production in the key China market hovered at above 85% capacity, owing to the lower feedstock cost. Buying interest for spot MEG volumes were limited as end-users were largely covered by contracts. However, the demand for end-textile products slowed down amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Downstream converters largely only purchased cargoes on a need-to basis due to slowing sales and rising freight costs.
Supply was mixed in Q2. Several planned turnarounds took place during the quarter, limiting local availability. A supply crunch in June was expected but this was short-lived due to lacklustre demand. Bulk spot prices rose mid-quarter due to availability concerns after the European Commission implemented provisional antidumpting duties (ADDs) against Saudi Arabia and US imports into Europe. Market sources looked to Asia for non-ADD import sources, easing supply concerns.
Demand was under pressure at the start of the quarter due to lower MEG consumption from the PET sector amid feedstock supply issues. There was also downward pricing pressure at the start of the quarter, especially in the truck market. Co-product DEG demand was healthier compared with MEG. PET demand improved as the quarter progressed, after force majeure declarations were lifted and coronavirus restrictions eased.
Supply remained tight amid plants restarting from the February freeze, although running at reduced rates amid snug feedstock ethylene. DEG and TEG were particularly tight because as feedstocks, they represent only a combined 10% of EG yields, and on-purpose TEG production was largely out of commission during the quarter. MEG loosened in late Q2, however.
Although storm-related shortages of feedstocks reduced downstream run rates earlier in the quarter, overall demand was very strong. Consumption was healthy for MEG into PET for packaging, DEG into both polyester polyols and UPR, and TEG into the oilfield sector, which saw growth amid rising crude oil prices.
Updated to Q3 2021
MEG capacities will see a further increase as two major units will start up in Saudi Arabia and China, totalling 1.4m tonnes/year. This could keep the MEG spot market under pressure as the soft demand may not be able to digest the rapid increase in capacity.
Demand is expected to remain slow in July and August amid the traditional off-peak season, but may pick up in September when the peak manufacturing season commences. Global textile demand may pick up slowly from the second half of the year if the global coronavirus pandemic comes under control.
Supply is expected to lengthen in Q3. Local turnarounds finished at the end of Q2 and early July. Imports from Asia also increased, following the antidumping provisional measures against US and Saudi imports. Vessels are set to arrive in July and August, although there are concerns over delayed shipments and high freight costs. Co-product DEG supply is also likely to increase in August as imports are due to arrive from Asia.
European MEG market players are adopting a wait-and-see stance towards demand expectations. Downstream PET demand has struggled to reach levels seen in typical, peak bottling season due to continued social distancing measures. Antifreeze and coolant demand typically slows during the warmer months. Co-product DEG demand has been better than MEG demand and players are optimistic about Q3. TEG demand has been lacklustre in cases.
With all Canada production – representing nearly 1.8m tonnes/year of capacity – on planned maintenance in August and September, supply is expected to decrease. In addition, hurricane season lasts through October and could cause disruptions to US Gulf plants.
Demand should remain healthy, with the summer bottling season taking shape in addition to changed behaviours favouring packaged food and beverages. The peak polyester-fibre season will begin in Asia as well, and with antidumping duties imposed on US MEG into Europe, trade flows are likely to shift. Construction demand for DEG is expected to remain strong through the quarter as well.
Whether you are buying or selling EG, ICIS provides you with the right pricing data, analytics, news and market analysis you need to confidently plan and make your trades, as well as shape future strategies and maintain a competitive advantage.
* Due to active EG trading in Asia, daily reports are available for our Asian coverage.
Each ICIS EG pricing subscription comes with analytics tools that take away the hassle of developing your own analysis. Quickly access data such as:
ICIS brings you breaking chemical news as it happens – including market moves, analysis, data and more. The service is reliable, authoritative and always available when you need it most.
Stay on top of ethylene glycol (EG) markets across all regions with ICIS news.
Get a long-term view of the market with ICIS Supply and Demand Data Service, which offers end-to-end perspectives of the EG markets.
Gain quick access to data on import and export volumes, plant capacities, production, product trade flows, companies and route. With historical data from 1978 and forecast available up to 2040, this powerful data and analytics service from ICIS helps senior management, strategists, business planners, analysts and risk managers to:
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the consulting team at ICIS delivers tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years of experience in guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
Our Pricing Methodology: ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising of consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters worldwide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyers and sellers, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Interested to find out how we derive our prices? Find out more about our EG methodology coverage here
Our benchmark prices have been trusted by buyers and sellers around the globe for nearly 40 years.
Choose ICIS for concise information and easy-to-assess formatting, all delivered straight to your inbox.
PET, polyester filament yarn