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 Q4 2019
In early Q4, as feedstock acetone prices surged, and another major feedstock, propylene, prices fell, propylene-based isopropanol (IPA) plants resumed operation ratios, increasing competition for IPA. Later in Q4, as acetone values dropped, propylene-based IPA plants stopped operations again. Some acetone-based IPA plants were also reportedly shut because of a lack of feedstock acetone. This caused supply to shorten. However, amid a slow downstream market, supply was considered long as some major exporters decreased their production ratios.
Demand slowed in Q4, atypical from previous years when demand was expected to increase after the summer lull in Q3. A major impact from the tepid demand was the slowing economy. Despite the continued shutdown of a major southeast Asian supplier, import markets were well supplied by other northeast Asian suppliers. In times of slower downstream demand, some importers pushed back procuring newer cargoes, especially when feedstock acetone prices jumped. When acetone values dropped again, importers retreated further to the sidelines.
Supply of isopropanol (IPA) has been steady and abundant throughout Q4 despite a maintenance at one major producer. Inventories of IPA have been running relatively high since the beginning of the year. Imports from Asia have been low due to a closed arbitrage window since mid-Q3 on the back of rising feedstock values in the region following incidents in the Middle East in August 2019. More recent events in the latter region could prompt more hikes of crude oil in Asia, reducing further import opportunities for Asian producers.
“Demand in Q4 has been rather sluggish and under par compared to previous years. Most point to the automotive sector for an explanation for the slower demand. Some smaller participants on the sell side have enjoyed from steady and relatively steady demand but have claimed those results were pertaining to a diversified portfolio of customers extending well beyond the traditional outlet of the automotive sector. Those who have been able to export in opportune markets outside Europe have also had more balanced yearly results.”
Supply of IPA increased in the fourth quarter of 2019 as imports from South Korea entered the US market at higher levels than in previous periods, driving down prices. This coincided with the US Department of Commerce levying anti-dumping measures on acetone imports. Acetone is upstream of some grades of IPA. Supply of propylene, an important upstream feedstock, also increased in December, as buyers sought to reduce inventory at the end of the year.
Demand for US IPA was seasonally weak in the fourth quarter of 2019, especially in the final weeks of December. This is typical for end of year inventory because buyers and distributors seek to avoid holding excess supply at the end of the year to minimise tax liability. Demand for IPA’s upstream feedstock propylene also fell due to lacklustre demand for its derivative, polypropylene (PP).
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
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
News & market analysis specifically relating to Isopropanol
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 Isopropanol, 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.
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.
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-listed chemical stocks closed mixed on Friday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell again, although it rallied from the lows earlier in the day. Minutes before closing, the...Read
LONDON (ICIS)--The role of liquid fuels such as second-generation biofuels derived from non-food biomass and synthetic fuels will be key in the transition towards electric vehicles (EVs) to achieve...Read
Ludwigshafen, GERMANY (ICIS)--BASF’s investment programme for the next half-decade in Asia will outpace expenditure on its European home market as the Germany-headquartered chemicals major seeks...Read
Ludwigshafen, GERMANY (ICIS)--The decline in automobile production is likely to be as pronounced this year as in 2019, the CEO at BASF said on Friday, while no immediate rebound is expected for the...Read