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 2019
Barring unforeseen plant shutdowns, supply should remain stable throughout the quarter. It might not be possible for some plants to increase their production, due to fierce competition for feedstock chlorine from other downstream sectors such as the polyvinyl chloride industry. Other plants should maintain high production rates from last quarter as long as feedstock methanol prices remained low and margins remained healthy.
Similarly to some other petrochemical markets, players did not expect significant recovery for methylene chloride demand till after the Lunar New Year celebrations at the earliest. On the other hand, market players did not see any bullish market factor that would push up demand, given the gloomy outlook for the global economy.
It is unclear whether the supply of European methylene chloride will be long or short in the first quarter. Eurochlor statistics revealed a decrease in production for upstream chlorine in early Q4, although co-product caustic soda prices were stable to soft through the quarter. Production at several chlorine producers is expected to resume to normal levels in Q1.
European methylene chloride demand is forecast to be somewhat higher in Q1 compared with Q4 due to re-stocking and increased market activity following the Christmas holidays. Demand fell in December as players reduced stocks. There is not expected to be a structural change to overall consumption in 2019.
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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.