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 Q1 2020
Melamine supply in China in Q1 was ample with the average operating rates at 60-70% in China. Plants continued to run at reduced rates to cope with supply glut and dwindled demand. Melamine operation in India was stopped in late March amid the country’s nationwide lockdown. Melamine margins remained negative as spot FOB China prices fell to historical lows by end-March.
Demand slowed down in Q1 amid the global coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the supply chains and halted businesses. Most downstream derivatives have shut down their units amid lockdowns in many countries and buyers were reluctant to place orders due to the slowing off-take rates and poor sales.
European melamine supply remained healthy in Q1. A brief planned turnaround in Russia during March did not impact overall availability. Material from China continued to be absent from the European market in Q1, easing import pressure in Russia. European spot prices were less attractive, falling to or dipping below anti-dumping levels. Improved export demand out of Europe to other regions reduced some of the European oversupply towards the end of the quarter.
Domestic demand was slow to pick up at the start of the year but levelled off mid-quarter. Export demand from Europe was healthy due to the supply interruption from China seen during Q1. Suppliers in Europe were seeing higher orders from countries typically served by Chinese volumes such as Indonesia, India and Turkey. Demand started to slip in March due to lockdowns across Europe, caused by the escalating coronavirus pandemic.
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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News & market analysis specifically relating to Melamine
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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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