The ICIS Glycol Ether reports are published in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis. Asia and US markets focus on both the ethylene and propylene based glycol ethers within this report, while in Europe these are published separately as glycol ethers and propylene glycol ethers.
Our locally based reporters gather market intelligence on demand, supply, upstream movements, production schedules and any other key factors influencing prices at the time. Follow our universally-trusted reports to help you make informed commercial decisions.
Updated to Q1 2019
Butyl glycol (BG) supply was tighter with a Middle Eastern producer shut for maintenance between end January and end February and a South Korea producer reducing operation rate. A Chinese producer also shutdown sporadically on slow demand. The reduced supply helped pushed up BG prices in China in February before and after the Lunar New Year holiday. Southeast Asia maintained a long supply structure with deepsea, southeast Asian and Middle East materials and prices were down steadily.
BG demand in China was firm in H2 January on restocking activities before the lunar new year holiday. There continued to be healthy demand after the holiday as buyers bought materials amid price uptrend. Subsequently, demand faltered in China as buyers slowly digested inventory. Demand in March was generally slower than expectation due to slow economy and the US-China trade war. Demand in southeast Asia were largely flat, as end-users bought on a hand-to-mouth basis amid ample supply.
European glycol ether supply was healthy at the start of the year with activity slow to pick up in January. European production rates ran hard and competition was strong. This, alongside low demand, led to hefty price decreases across Q1 2019. In the Middle East, Sadara Chemical Company conducted a planned turnaround at Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Although the producer regularly exports considerable volumes to Europe, the maintenance did not create a shortage in the market.
Market activity was very slow in January and expectations for a gradual pick up were not seen during Q1 2019. European glycol ether supply was lengthy and demand was unable to meet this, leading to double-digit price decreases month on month. Some European producers offered considerable price decreases in order to encourage demand. Spot prices reached a two-year low in March.
US glycol ethers supply was broadly stable and ample during the first quarter, partly reflecting diminished buying interest during a harsh winter of extreme cold temperatures and record-setting precipitation. Amid a fundamentally weak market slow to recover from a slow Q4 2018, supply remained adequate to meet tepid Q1 demand requirements. Declining upstream costs, however, weakened glycol ethers values during the period, though price-increase efforts emerged in March with mixed results.
Domestic first-quarter glycol ethers demand was steady from the previous quarter but weakened year on year. Buying interest usually gains momentum ahead of the US spring paint and coatings season, which peaks in the second quarter and usually extends through summer, but inclement weather and an uncertain economic outlook somewhat inhibited pre-season demand this year. Additionally, coatings demand from new construction continued to struggle amid economic headwinds, though interior-coatings demand may have offset that weakness.
We offer the following regional Glycol ethers analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Glycol ethers marketplace.
More information about the price reports we publish on Glycol ethers
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
News & market analysis specifically relating to Glycol ethers
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settl ements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
Information is accessed online, via the ICIS dashboard service and is configurable to suit your preferences.
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
ICIS pricing intelligence is delivered to you online via the ICIS dashboard. Here you can view your reports and also access other useful services including related news, analysis, historical data and market alerts.
ICIS dashboard also makes it easy for you to create pricing charts, download price history and export data to create tailored analytical models.
ICIS weekly margin reports deliver the detail you need to understand how production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to judge the likely impact on your business and optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.
The Supply and Demand Window on the ICIS Dashboard provides a snapshot view of historical and forecast information for supply and demand, production capacity and trade flows – a key tool to help safeguard future investments within the chemicals market.
24-hour global coverage of breaking news in the petrochemical industry, including updates on production, shutdowns and key transacted deals, keeping you informed of market developments as they happen. The ICIS news service allows you to customise the market alerts delivered to your email inbox, providing the business-critical information you need straightaway.
An expert view of supply and demand comprising four fully-reconciled databases, giving you access to extensive data for more than 100 markets. Information is included on global and regional trade flows, production, capacity and sources of demand in the short-, medium- and long-term. Data can be downloaded, customised and queried to support your planning requirements and your strategic decisions.
ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
Find out more about ICIS training courses >>
ICIS produces a series of highly informative and timely conferences. Extensive research is carried out to ensure that each programme delivers the information you need and addresses current industry issues. We source speakers who have the appropriate expertise and experience to deliver excellent quality papers.
Find out more about ICIS conferences >>
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the ICIS consulting team deliver tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years’ experience of guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
ICIS expert consultants can provide your organisation with the insight, intelligence and data needed to build and grow your business in China. We can help you to gain a clear view on the short and long-term supply and demand picture in the chemicals, energy, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and paper and pulp markets in China.
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.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Glycol ethers, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Glycol Ethers Methodology
A large proportion of glycol ethers goes into the paints and coatings industry, though other uses include inks, cleaning products, plasticisers, brake fluids, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and personal care products.
There are two groups of glycol ethers: E-series and P-series depending on whether they are made from ethylene oxide (EO) or propylene oxide (PO). They are used mainly as a solvent in a variety of domestic and industrial applications such as paints and coatings.
E-series glycol ethers are used as solvents and coalescing aids in paint formulations while higher molecular weight glycol ethers are used in hydraulic brake fluids. They are used as intermediates to make esters.
Propylene glycol ethers (PGE) are high performance industrial solvents used in paints and coatings, cleaners, inks and other applications.
In the electronics industry, PGEs are used with other solvents in the manufacture of laminates and semiconductor processes for making circuit boards.
Other applications include agricultural, cosmetic, ink, textile and adhesive products.