ICIS publishes Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) reports weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. News and analysis puts the market in focus and keeps you up-to-date in order to make vital commercial decisions.
The price assessments cover spot in all regions, with contract prices in the US only. Our detailed commentary gives you an unbiased overview of market movements, including regional news, import/export information, upstream/downstream news, graphs and economic impacts.
Updated to Q3 2020
Supply was tight. In China, only Wanhua Chemicals’s 15,000 tonne/year Yantai-based plant and LCY Chemicals’s 40,000 tonne/year Zhenjiang-based plant were operating for most of Q3. Ningbo Zhenyang started up its 15,000 tonne/year plant towards the close of Q3. Other plants were shut on poor margins as feedstock acetone prices soared. PetroChina Jilin delayed the restart of its 15,000 tonnes/year plant to October, from September.
Demand rebounded, and the recovery was steady in Q3, particularly in key market China, prompting stronger consumption for MIBK, used in the rubber tyre production. Demand from the marine paint and coating sector remained lacklustre. Domestic prices in east China saw new highs every week starting early September, hitting the highest prices since the quote was launched by ICIS in late February 2019.
Switches made in Q1-Q2 to prioritise the production of IPA over MIBK were reversed as the shortage of IPA dissipated. However, production at one European plant producing out of acetone slowed on a shortage of the feedstock. Imports from Asia were halted as producers in the region prioritised selling the feedstock over the derivative. A maintenance at a producer associated with several other importers unable to supply the market drastically tightened supply in September.
An increase in demand from the paints and coatings applications was incremental for most of the quarter. Feedback in August was mixed with some sold out earlier in the month while others saw no enquiries or their contractual agreements adjusted down. An uptick in demand was more noticeable in September as the paints and coatings season started and car manufacturers ramped up operating rates.
We offer the following regional Methyl isobutyl ketone analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Methyl isobutyl ketone marketplace.
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Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) is a stable colourless liquid with a pleasant mild odour. It is both a medium boiling and medium evaporating solvent.
Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) is an excellent solvent for resins used in the production of surface coatings. The main solvent applications are in transportation, refurnishing and marine coatings, construction coatings, wood coatings and metal coatings.
MIBK is also used in rubber chemicals for the production of tyres, as a solvent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and adhesives, and for specialised metallurgical extraction.
The two main processes for making MIBK are from acetone condensation and isopropanol (IPA).
MIBK is a colourless liquid with a characteristic ketone odour. It is highly flammable and vapours may travel to the source of ignition and flashback.