The Maleic Anhydride markets are covered weekly by ICIS in Asia, Europe and the US. Our locally based reporters gather benchmark pricing assessments for both liquid and flake/molten material. Contracts are agreed in all three regions, while spot price updates are for Asia and Europe only.
The news and market intelligence that supports any price movements, gives details on demand, supply, regional updates, upstream activity, production news and any other influencing factors at the time of publication. This universally trusted insight ensures you have the information you need to make key strategic business decisions.
Updated to Q4 2018
Some producers in Asia will continue focusing on catering to domestic demand in their respective markets during the quarter. As a result, they are not keen to export cargoes into southeast Asia. Additionally, a few producers will continue to divert their cargoes to Europe, US and Middle East – where netbacks are better compared with Asia.
Some buyers said they had stockpiled sufficient inventories in anticipation of continued upward pressure arising from firmer feedstock butane prices. At the same time, demand for downstream UPR is expected to remain tepid amid weak consumption. As a result, MA buyers may remain on the sidelines during the quarter.
As the fourth quarter commenced, there was no planned maintenance scheduled. Supply was expected to remain largely steady and customers in particular felt there could be some lengthening towards year-end. Asian imports remained limited on the spot market.
Demand was described as normal in October, with most enquiries covered by contracts and spot activity very thin. While October and November order books are expected to remain steady, some were already referring to the year-end slowdown as some customers look to end the year with low stock inventory.
Sources largely expect the markets to remain steady for the rest of the year as supply and demand fundamentals balance out. The US and China are targeting each other’s exports of MA with 10% tariffs going into effect 24 September as part of the third wave of tariffs.
Peak downstream demand is expected to wind down in the fourth quarter as the high season wraps up. But prices could face upward pressure as healthy US MA production and slower demand are offset by higher values for feedstock butane. Butane prices tend to move up during the winter season as demand is stronger.
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Maleic anhydride (MA) is derived from butane in the US. In Europe and Asia, MA is derived predominantly from butane units, although a small amount is produced by benzene units.
Maleic anhydride (MA) occurs as colourless or white crystalline flakes with strong acrid (pungent) odour. It is soluble in acetone, ether, petroleum fractions and reacts with water, evolving heat and forming MA. It also dimerises to 1,2,3,4 -cyclobutane tetracarboxylic acid dianhydride in the presence of UV light.
MA is mostly used to make unsaturated polyester resins (UPRs). UPRs are used in a wide range of applications including bathroom fixtures and automobiles.
The second-largest outlet for MA is 1,4 butanediol (BDO) and derivatives tetrahydrofuran (THF) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).
MA is available as liquid (molten) or solid (flake): the liquid form dominates and accounts for 90-95% of the market, which is not easily transportable.
MA is produced commercially by the oxidation of benzene or butane. The butane-based process is considered to have superior economics and is the preferred route by most producers. However, a small amount is produced by the benzene route.
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US maleic anhydride (MA) is facing downward pressure at the start of 2019 amid lower costs for feedstock butane. The decrease in...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The first quarter has a history of being unpredictable when it comes to US butanediol (BDO), with contracts likely to settle in early...Read
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Discussions for maleic anhydride (MA) into southeast Asia were stable at $1,330-1,350/tonne amid weak market sentiment, as several...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US maleic anhydride (MA) is facing upward momentum from high feedstock butane. Participants are discussing MA contracts against a...Read