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 Q2 2020
Supply in Q1 decreased initially as the coronavirus pandemic hit China in late January, causing unplanned plant shutdowns and reduced operation rates. With only Japan and South Korea catering to Asia, supply was tightened. In early March, as IPA plants started recovering in China, supply lengthened and the dependence on Japan and South Korea for spot cargoes lessened.
Consumer demand in the early part of Q1 was very constant, with the main issue being the lack of IPA material, because of the shutdowns and reduced operating rates in China. Amid the second wave of the pandemic in southeast Asia in late Q1, demand rose as IPA’s end-use in hand sanitizers and rubbing alcohols increased.
The IPA market has seen a surge in imports in Q2 from the US, Asia and to a lesser extent from South Africa, driven by an unprecedented hike in demand for hand sanitising gels and disinfectants to tackle the spread of COVID-19, as well as higher European prices. European producers have all ramped up their production rate to cope with the higher needs, some also cutting don on derivatives of IPA to keep optimal availability of the disinfectant component. The market in April is short and is likely to remain so until Q3.
IPA demand surged late February this year on an unprecedented need for hand sanitising solutions and disinfectants in hospitals and work places as Europe started becoming the latest epicentre of the COVID-19 virus, declared a world pandemic by the WHO in March. Efforts to contain the contagion of the virus with disinfectants has spurred a continent-wide effort to produce more IPA to service hospitals, other public health institutions but demand by far outstrips supply in April. Q2 is also the beginning of the peak season for IPA.
Domestic supply has been extremely limited in recent weeks due to the surging pharmaceutical demand for IPA. Market participants said that several producers have placed buyers on sales allocations in order to directly address end users with IPA demand. South Korea is still exporting IPA to the US, and China has begun to ramp up production. However, many of those IPA shipments are unlikely to arrive in the US for several weeks and cannot address present demand.
Demand for isopropanol (IPA) soared in the final weeks of Q1, as domestic concern over the spread of coronavirus increased. Isopropanol is used to make hand sanitizers, which are in high demand among consumers because of their ability to kill germs. Hand sanitizers were among the first products to sell out at grocery stores and pharmacies, but demand has increased even more in recent weeks, especially in hospitals. Demand has outpaced the increase in IPA production in March.
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.
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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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