The ICIS Isopropanol (IPA) report is published weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. Our price assessments cover spot activity and, in Europe, technical, and cosmetic and pharmaceutical grades are quoted.
Locally based reporters gather market intelligence and compile commentary to cover regional activity, production issues, upstream and downstream news, as well as economic indications. The independent and unbiased information helps support you to make business decisions with confidence.
Updated to Q3 2020
Production at acetone-based IPA plants remained at low rates, with smaller plants shut as margins turned negative. This is amid sliding IPA prices and firm upstream acetone prices. Production at propylene-based IPA plants, on the other hand, was constant, on better netbacks. At least one major Chinese acetone-based IPA plant was also shut during the later part of Q3, on scheduled maintenance, according to a company source.
With the majority of buyers sitting on ample inventories amid slow downstream demand, bulk appetite lessened. If buyers need to replenish their stocks, they preferred iso-tanks, which carry a lower risk of losses. With end-use products like hand sanitizers sitting at warehouses, the need for IPA decreased as manufacturers wait for existing stocks to be digested.
The oversupply which pervaded in Q2 continued to impede a rebalancing of inventories in Q3. Imports from Asia flooded in from May until September as prices in Asia rocketed on higher acetone prices. This was partly offset by higher exports due to an open arbitrage window with Latin America and Asia for propylene-based IPA European producers.
Demand for hand gels and disinfectants and the stocking up of solutions started to recede in Q3 after surging in Q2. Some hand-gel producers substituted IPA which had become expensive with ethanol which was cheaper throughout the quarter. Demand for industrial applications such as paints and coatings was subdued because car manufacturers were slow to ramp up operating rates.
IPA production began to decrease in Q3. Several small producers that begin making IPA to keep up with skyrocketing demand in the spring began to wind down production. Market players also mentioned that several major US producers began to cut down production levels which increased dramatically in early Q2. Asian imports also decreased at the end of Q3 due to higher shipping costs and lower margins for Asian producers.
IPA demand fell in Q3. After surging at the end of Q1 and the start of Q2, IPA prices started to fall in May. The rise in IPA prices was largely caused by the immense demand for hand sanitizers at the start of the pandemic. As its production greatly increased in Q2, hand sanitizer shortages came to an end. The number of coronavirus cases has fluctuated throughout summer, but demand for IPA has not returned to the levels seen in March or April.
We offer the following regional Isopropanol analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Isopropanol marketplace.
More information about the price reports we publish on Isopropanol
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News & market analysis specifically relating to Isopropanol
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
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Isopropanol (IPA), also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a low-cost solvent used in many industrial and consumer products and as an extractant.
Isopropanol (IPA) is a clear, colourless, mobile liquid with an alcoholic odour. It is miscible with water and ethyl alcohol and reacts with strong oxidants.
IPA, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a low-cost solvent used in many industrial and consumer products and as an extractant. Outlets include cosmetics and personal care products, de-icers, paints and resins, pharmaceuticals, food, inks and adhesives. It is also used as solvent for oil and gums and in the manufacture of fishmeal concentrates. Low-grade IPA is used in motor oils.
Other applications include its use as a cleaning and drying agent in the manufacture of electronic parts and metals, and as an aerosol solvent in medical and veterinary products. It can also be used as a coolant in beer manufacture, a coupling agent, a polymerisation modifier, a de-icing agent and a preservative.
Some chemical compounds are manufactured from IPA, in particular derivative ketones, such as methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), isopropylamines and isopropyl esters.
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BARCELONA (ICIS)--Demand for hand sanitisers has added a permanent uplift of 60-70,000 tonnes/year to Europe's isopropanol markets, with ethanol benefitting too. Hand sanitisers and disinfectants...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--After an unprecedented surge in demand in the spring, US isopropanol (IPA) demand continues to trend downwards. This downward movement first began in Q2 and has continued throughout...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US isopropanol (IPA) prices continue to be stable. The consistent pricing seen recently has been rare since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Prices first surged in the spring,...Read