Our weekly Melamine reports are published for Asia, Europe and the US. Price assessments gathered by our locally based reporters cover spot business in Asia, contract and spot in Europe, and contract only in the US.
The market analysis in the commentary section offers overviews of regional activity, upstream news, production updates, graphs, and any other key factors influencing prices. This independent market intelligence can assist you in making those crucial commercial choices with confidence.
Updated to Q2 2020
Supply was stable for the early part of Q2. Some producers in China decided to cut run rates for the rest of Q2 after poor demand and low spot prices began to hurt margins and result in mounting inventories. Some producers also began to shut lines for turnarounds in June, resulting in national run rates reaching around 55% in H2 June.
Demand was impacted by lockdowns in Asia, with weak sentiment sweeping across the region amid the coronavirus pandemic. Most buyers focused on consuming existing inventories and kept purchases to a need-to basis for most of Q2. Some stopped buying altogether during lockdowns. Towards the end of Q2, things started to look up slightly, starting from the Chinese domestic market. Demand from other parts of Asia also recovered slightly at the end of Q2.
Oversupply in the melamine market continued during the coronavirus pandemic. There was a short, planned turnaround in Russia in March and one in Austria in June. Demand outside contractual requirements was low during Q2 which saw Chinese material re-enter Russia at competitive levels. This added length to the Russian market, which spilled over into Europe and placed further pressure on spot prices in June.
Melamine demand softened throughout Q2 as a result of the lockdown measures. Export demand also shrunk as the quarter progressed as countries such as India extended lockdown measures. Melamine demand usually peaks in Q2, but this year consumption was below normal levels. Q2 contracts were agreed at a rollover to slight decreases in March as the impact of the lockdowns took hold.
We offer the following regional Melamine analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Melamine marketplace.
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Melamine was originally manufactured by heating dicyandiamide under pressure.
Melamine was originally manufactured by heating dicyandiamide under pressure. Currently, melamine is produced by the decomposition of urea into cyanic acid and ammonia in an endothermic reaction. Cyanic acid is then polymerised to form melamine and carbon dioxide.
Its most important reaction is that with formaldehyde, forming resinous compounds of high molecular weight. The construction and automotive industries figure high in driving melamine growth. Container and coil coatings, laminates and flame retardant uses have all experienced growth in recent years.
Melamine is used in the production of moulding powder to make dinner ware, coatings in cars, fan coils and appliances. Other uses include adhesive resins, which are used in the making of wood panels for the construction of kitchens, bathrooms, furniture and flooring. Melamine is produced by heating urea, ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide, of which the resulting mixture of isocyanic and ammonia reacts over a solid catalyst at about 400ºC.
Melamine is moderately toxic by ingestion and a skin and eye irritant.
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