Mono propylene glycol (MPG)

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Discover the factors influencing mono propylene glycol (MPG) markets

Commonly used in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) and coatings, antifreeze and de-icing applications on an industrial scale, mono propylene glycol (MPG) demand responds to activity levels in the construction, aviation and automotive sectors. The MPG USP grade is used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and other consumer related applications. Seasonal factors and consumer trends can also cause noticeable market movements – as can upstream fluctuations in feedstocks and crude oil. This level of volatility highlights the importance of accurate and timely information. The most success comes from informed decision-making.

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Mono propylene glycol (MPG) news

PODCAST: China propylene capacity expected in H2; demand to also improve

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s propylene (C3) market will continue to see new capacities coming from China in H2 2024, while demand is also likely to improve as new derivative projects come up. Margin challenges may continue to impact the market by altering the operations for C3 and its derivatives. As China is the largest producer and consumer globally, dynamics in the country will impact the wider Asia C3 market. In this podcast, ICIS senior analyst Joey Zhou discusses with ICIS analyst Seymour Chenxia the trends and outlook for Asia’s C3 market in 2024.


PODCAST: China PDH operators eye H2 by-product amid poor margins

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Squeezed by high propane costs and weak propylene prices, some Chinese propane dehydrogenation (PDH) operators are turning to a potential lifeline: commercializing hydrogen, a valuable byproduct of their operations. Join ICIS LPG analysts Lillian Ren and Shihao Zhou as they discuss how commercializing hydrogen could turn the tide for China's PDH producers. They'll delve into current market challenges, the potential of hydrogen as a lifeline, and what this shift could mean for the future of the industry.


Asia top stories – weekly summary

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 5 July 2024. OUTLOOK: Snug import supply supports Asia MEG amid slowing demand By Judith Wang 03-Jul-24 11:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Monoethylene glycol (MEG) import supply in Asia for July is expected to stay snug in the near term, while demand looks set to slow down. INSIGHT: Methanol or ethylene, that is the question for China By Doris He 02-Jul-24 17:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s methanol-to-olefins (MTO) industry has always been a focus of attention among methanol market players, as it accounts for half of overall demand. More attention has recently been shifted to ethylene, from the overall margins of a typical MTO plant in coastal regions. OUTLOOK: Asia nylon markets may slow down in H2 2024 on lengthened supply By Charmaine Lim 01-Jul-24 14:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Nylon markets in Asia are expected to slow in H2 2024 compared to the first half of the year as the upcoming seasonal lull in Q3 approaches, with new capacities planned to start up in China this year. S Korea antidumping probe on China SM extends to Sept, discussions and hearings ongoing By Luffy Wu 01-Jul-24 15:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Korea Trade Commission is continuing with its anti-dumping probe against styrene monomer (SM) imports from China, with some discussions and hearings between the government and market players heard ongoing. PODCAST: China oxo-alcohols to face supply-demand pressure, new capacity to be a focus By Claire Gao 01-Jul-24 19:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–In this podcast, ICIS analyst Claire Gao explores the oxo-alcohols market overview and outlook. OUTLOOK: Persistent economic woes dampen Asia chemical freight demand By Hwee Hwee Tan 02-Jul-24 12:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s chemical freight demand is dampened as macroeconomic doldrums were pulling back spot trades well into the third quarter despite reducing plant capacity losses for key liquid bulk products.


Four Asia chemical majors in consortium to build green polyester supply chain

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–A consortium consisting of four Asian petrochemical producers have agreed to establish a sustainable polyester fiber supply chain. Japan's Mitsubishi Corp, South Korea’s SK geo centric, Thailand’s Indorama Ventures Ltd (IVL), and India Glycols along with three other companies are part of the consortium, the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday. Japanese sports apparel firm Goldwin is the project owner of the initiative, while Finnish refiner Neste is also part of the consortium alongside Japan-based engineering firm Chiyoda Corp. Financial details of the project were not disclosed. The project aims to utilize renewable and bio-based materials as well as materials produced via carbon capture and utilization (CCU) to manufacture polyester fibers for THE NORTH FACE brand in Japan. Outdoor apparel and equipment brand THE NORTH FACE is operated by Goldwin in Japan. "After that, the launch of further products and brands of Goldwin will be considered," Chiyoda said in the statement. The polyester fiber produced from the project is planned to be used by Goldwin for a part of THE NORTH FACE products, including sports uniforms in July this year. Chiyoda will supply CCU-based paraxylene (PX) to the supply chain, while Thai polyester producer IVL will contribute renewable CCU-based purified terephthalic acid (PTA). In March 2022, Chiyoda started producing carbon dioxide (CO2)-based PX at its pilot plant at the company's Koyasu Research Park in Kanagawa prefecture as part of a project linked with Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NED). SK geo centric and Neste will be supplying renewable PX and renewable naphtha, respectively. India Glycols, which produces monoethylene glycol (MEG), will supply bio-ethylene glycol made mainly from sugarcane. Toyobo MC Corporation (TMC) – a joint venture between Toyobo Co and Mitsubishi Corp – will be supplying renewable bio-CCU polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Details on supply volumes from each of the consortium partners were not disclosed. Thumbnail photo: A generic polyester clothing label (Sandvik/imageBROKER/Shutterstock)


Americas top stories: weekly summary

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News from the week ended 28 June. US June propylene contracts rise on higher spot prices US June propylene contracts for the majority of market participants settled up 2 cents/lb on higher spot prices. US consumer confidence and ICIS leading business barometer fall in June US consumer confidence fell in June, as did the ICIS US leading business barometer (LBB). Aditya Birla Chemicals plans new US epoxy facility in Texas Aditya Birla Chemicals is planning to build a new epoxy facility in Beaumont, Texas, according to the company. Flat chemical prices to increase in coming quarters; volumes booming – US HB Fuller Most chemical prices have stabilized, and a few are posting small rises, a trend which should strengthen in coming quarters as global manufacturing picks up, executives at US-headquartered adhesives producer HB Fuller said on Thursday. SHIPPING: Panama Canal increases drafts, to add another transit slot on 5 August The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has increased the maximum allowable draft to transit the Neopanamax locks effective immediately, announced that another increase will take effect on 11 July, and will add an additional booking slot in the Neopanamax locks during Booking Period 2 for booking dates beginning 5 August.


Asia top stories – weekly summary

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 28 June 2024. Asia melamine sees uptick on tighter supply; demand recovery uncertain By Joy Foo 28-Jun-24 12:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s melamine spot market for China-origin product faced some pressure from early June due to lagging demand. China MEG market supported by limited import arrivals By Cindy Qiu 26-Jun-24 12:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices rose after falling in June, reflecting supply-demand dynamics, but the price growth may be capped by increasing domestic supply and curtailed downstream polyester production, despite limited import arrivals expected in July. India’s BPA import price surges; freight continues to exert pressure By Li Peng Seng 24-Jun-24 11:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–India’s bisphenol A (BPA) average import price hit its highest level in nearly 20 months recently due to firm ocean freight rates, a phenomenon that is expected to persist in the short term as vessel space is likely to stay tight. PODCAST: Asia base oils supply, demand to gradually rise in H2 By Damini Dabholkar 26-Jun-24 18:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s base oils supply is expected to improve slightly in H2 2024, while a seasonal peak in overall demand is due to kick off in the later part of Q3. INSIGHT: Asia isocyanates H1 performance mixed, poor expectations for Q3 By Shannen Ng 26-Jun-24 14:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Demand in Asia’s import markets for polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is likely to remain limited in the upcoming summer months of July and August, and the outlook for late Q3 is uncertain. Chemanol to supply methanol to Saudi Amiral project over 20 years By Pearl Bantillo 25-Jun-24 12:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Arabia's Methanol Chemicals Co (Chemanol) has signed a 20-year deal to supply methanol to the Amiral petrochemical project of Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co (SATORP).


SHIPPING: Panama Canal increases drafts, to add another transit slot on 5 August

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has increased the maximum allowable draft to transit the Neopanamax locks effective immediately, announced that another increase will take effect on 11 July, and will add an additional booking slot in the Neopanamax locks during Booking Period 2 for booking dates beginning 5 August. Source: Panama Canal Authority Water levels at Gatun Lake, the freshwater lake that feeds the canal’s locks have improved recently amid the arrival of the rainy season after a prolonged drought, allowing the PCA to continue to add transit slots. Water levels at Gatun Lake, currently at 81.3 feet, are projected to be at 82.1 feet by mid-July and to 87 feet by December. The transit restrictions that began in July 2023 – the first time in the canal’s history that limitations were placed on the number of daily transits – have gradually eased over the past few months and are approaching the average daily transits of 36-38/day seen prior to impacts from the drought. The improved conditions at the canal are likely to improve transit times for vessels travelling between the US Gulf and Asia, as well as between Europe and west coast Latin America countries. This should benefit chemical markets that move product between regions, including those in the following chart. The bottleneck at the Panama Canal has had varying affects on US chemical markets. Formosa Plastics USA had to shut down its EG2 unit because of negative impacts on monoethylene glycol (MEG) exports because of the backlog and delays transiting the canal. The majority of product from the unit is expected to be exported to Asia. The company restarted the unit this week. Higher water levels at the Panama Canal could also have knock-down effects on US natural gas demand, ICIS feedstocks analyst Barin Wise said. If higher water levels at the canal enable liquefied natural gas (LNG) shippers to cut down on travel times from the US Gulf Coast to Asia, it could encourage LNG export plant managers to maximize output, he said. AUCTION PRICES EASE The PCA said recently that auction prices have levelled off since the peak period last year. In October-November 2023, there was a surge in auction prices related to a market-driven congestion premium, though this is no longer the case, the PCA said. Auction prices are generally near normal levels presently, though auctions remain an invaluable tool and option for customers who may otherwise not have secured reservations. The PCA noted that auction prices are also not set by the waterway, but rather influenced by many factors and market dynamics, including internal considerations such as waiting times and queue lengths, as well as external elements like charter rates and bunker prices. Additionally, the specific preferences and needs of individual customers, which may not be fully captured by the route value model, can also influence auction outcomes. WAIT TIMES FOR NON-BOOKED VESSELS Wait times for non-booked southbound vessels ready for transit have been relatively steady at less than two days, according to the PCA vessel tracker and as shown below. The tracker is only for non-booked vessels in the queue and shippers should consider two additional days as a minimum to estimate transit times for unscheduled vessels, the PCA said. Focus article by Adam Yanelli With additional reporting by Melissa Wheeler, Bryan Campbell and Emily Burleson Thumbnail photo: Shows a container ship transiting the Panama Canal. (Source: Courtesy of PCA)


PODCAST: Europe oxo-alcohols, derivatives markets see balanced to long supply, sluggish demand

LONDON (ICIS)–The European oxo-alcohols market and most of its derivatives have been characterized by ample supply in June, particularly following the lifting of OQ Chemicals' force majeure at the end of May. Demand across most markets remains tepid and slow due to ongoing economic challenges. The construction and coatings industries have not experienced the expected seasonal surge. Butyl acetate reporter Marion Boakye speaks to oxo-alcohols reporter Nicole Simpson, glycol ethers reporter Cameron Birch and acrylate esters reporter Mathew Jolin-Beech about market dynamics down the oxo-alcohols value chain.  


BLOG: China’s ever-more sophisticated chemicals markets could entirely serve itself

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. China's chemicals producers are said to be focusing on being “nimble and agile” in response to weaker demand growth, ample local supply of intermediate chemicals and increasingly sophisticated end-use markets. This involves producing everything up and down the value chains only when it makes economic sense and increasing the differentiation of grades for a broader range of more sophisticated applications. Local producers are reported to be tripling their range of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyurethane (PU) grades as they broaden their licensing of technologies. A lot of this differentiation is aimed at supplying chemicals and polymers for higher-value downstream industries such as electric vehicles and batteries. There are said to be plenty of intermediate chemicals available locally that can compete with opportunistic imports. Local producers of intermediates are also reported to be able to make better domestic netbacks than selling overseas. Customers of the local intermediate producers increasingly value reliable suppliers who can provide a wider range of grades, technical services and local currency deals, I’ve been told. The ability of chemicals importers to compete on price alone seems to be under challenge as a sustainable business model. Future winners in China could be the Tier 1 suppliers. These suppliers would make all the grades necessary to serve ever-more sophisticated local end-use markets, which would require constantly successful R&D and good technical services. This points towards China becoming a vast continent-sized market that largely serves itself in speciality chemicals and composites, as well as commodity chemicals. I earlier discussed how self-sufficiency is increasing in commodity chemicals resulting in a pivot by “overseas-based” producers to specialities and composites. China could become just about entirely self-sufficient in commodity grades of PP, polyethylene (PE) and in paraxylene (PX) and ethylene glycols (EG) by 2030. The latter two chemicals are of course pure commodities. Note the above phrase “overseas-based” rather than overseas, as the foreign investors in China are in strong positions to take advantage of this vas and rapidly maturing market. For reasons discussed today, I don’t believe that the pivot by overseas-based producers to specialities and composites will work if it is based on exporting to China. What should the overseas-based producers do? Pretty much forget China as an opportunity as they focus on the rest of the world. And here's the link: Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS.


India’s GAIL to build $7.2bn Madhya Pradesh petrochemical complex

MUMBAI (ICIS)–State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd plans to invest Indian rupee (Rs) 600 billion ($7.2 billion) to build an ethane cracker and its derivative plants in Madhya Pradesh. The cracker will have a 1.5 million tonne/year capacity and will be set up at Ashta in the Sehore district of the state in central India, GAIL said in a regulatory disclosure to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on 10 June. GAIL did not provide product or capacity details of the ethylene derivatives it plans to produce at the complex. “Around 800 hectares of land shall be provided by the MP [Madhya Pradesh] Industrial Development Corporation, for which the state government has already initiated the process,” GAIL said. Project construction is expected to begin by February 2025, with commercial production likely in the financial year ending March 2031, it added. Investment on the project is still pending approval from GAIL management board, and the mode of financing yet to be decided. The Madhya Pradesh state government has approved the project and land will be allotted soon, state chief minister Mohan Yadav had said in a statement on 7 June. He said that “petrochemicals like linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), mono ethylene glycol (MEG) and propylene will be produced” at the site. The new project is part of GAIL’s initiative to enhance its petrochemical portfolio, a company source said. “The demand for petrochemicals is increasing in the country, led by expanding industrial, construction and manufacturing,” he said, citing an 8-9% annual growth rate in India’s polymer demand. In March 2024, GAIL had signed a tripartite agreement with Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Shell Energy India to explore opportunities for the import of ethane and other hydrocarbons at Shell Energy Terminal in Hazira in the western Gujarat state. Separately, the company recently announced plans to set up liquid pipeline for ethylene (C2), propylene (C3) from Vijaipur to Aurai in the northern Uttar Pradesh state. At Pata in the same state, GAIL will begin operations at the 60,000 tonne/year PP plant by December 2024. At Usar in the western Maharashtra state, GAIL expects to begin operations at its 500,000 tonne/year propane dehydrogenation unit (PDH) and 500,000 tonnes/year polypropylene (PP) line by April 2025; and its 50,000 tonne/year isopropylene project by December 2025. In the southern Karnataka state, the company expects to bring on line its 1.25m tonne/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Mangalore by March 2025. GAIL had acquired JBF Petrochemicals in June 2023 which allowed it to add PTA to its existing petrochemical portfolio. ($1 = Rs83.49) Focus article by Priya Jestin


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