The Methylene Chloride report is published weekly in Asia and Europe by ICIS’ locally-based reporters. The trusted price assessments cover spot markets in both regions. Unbiased and informative market commentary includes intelligence on regional movements, upstream impacts and any relevant production issues at the time of publication as well as a wider overview.
If you are involved in this market these reports can help you to make informed commercial decisions.
Updated to Q1 2021
In response to improved domestic demand in China, Chinese MEC plants were able to ramp up production without seeing any downward pressure on prices. Northeast Asian volumes were readily available to buyers in India and southeast Asia.
Chinese producers saw increased demand from the domestic Chinese refrigerant industry as the latter ramped up production in preparation for the summer season. In southeast Asia, demand continued to gradually improve as the region saw a drop in new COVID-19 infections. In India, spot demand remained weak as buyers were sufficiently supplied by domestic producers. Northeast Asian producers did not see any demand from buyers outside of Asia for most of the quarter.
European MEC supply was reduced in Q1 following domestic and overseas production issues. Olin’s plant in Stade, Germany was on force majeure in January and February, with production only restored in early March. In addition, INOVYN had a planned maintenance in March. US MEC production was reduced following polar storms while high shipping costs from Asia limited China’s presence in the global market.
European MEC demand increased as downstream industries recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. The automotive and construction industries rebounded both in Europe and in significant export markets such as Africa and the Middle East. Consumption in the pharmaceutical market remained strong throughout 2020-2021 on the back of MEC’s use as a process solvent.
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Methylene Chloride Methodology
Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane or methylene dichloride, is a chlorinated hydrocarbon.
Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is a chlorinated hydrocarbon produced by the chlorination of chloromethane. Further chlorination of the mixture of chlorinated methanes results in chloroform and carbon tetrachloride being produced.
Methylene chloride’s ability to dissolve a wide range of organic compounds makes it a useful solvent for many chemical processes. It is also used as a paint stripper and metal cleaning and finishing. Other applications include aerosol propellants, foam blowing, extraction medium in food processes, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
While methylene dichloride is the least toxic of the simple chlorohydrocarbons, it has health risks due to its volatility. It is also considered to be a potential occupational carcinogen. As a result, alternatives have been sought in many applications.
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