The reliable and trustworthy ICIS Oxo-alcohols report is covered weekly in Asia, China, Europe and the US. All four regions have price assessments gathered by our locally-based reporters that focus on market movements on n-butanol, iso-butanol, 2-ethylhexanol and dioctyl phthalate.
Europe also has a spot quote for diisononyl phthalate (DINP). The commentary gives additional background information on the factors influencing prices, such as demand and supply, import/export data, graphs and feedstock movements. This invaluable tool can be used to support you in making those crucial commercial decisions.
Updated to Q1 2019
N-butanol (NBA) supply in northeast Asia could start the year on the low side after Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) shut its NBA unit for maintenance in Q4. Although the 250,000 tonne/year unit was restarted in December, the producer was also carrying out works on the jetty, which resulted in limited exports.
Chinese downstream markets could see some uncertainty due to the ongoing US-China trade war. As demand from the butyl acrylates and plasticizers sectors is unclear, it could mirror developments in the upstream propylene market.
BASF remains on force majeure at the start of Q1, but all other European producers are said to be operating as planned. Supply is expected to improve compared with Q4, even with the ongoing force majeure declaration. There are regular outages scheduled for 2019, but supply is expected to be steadier provided that manufacturers prepare for the heavy cracker schedule due in spring.
Buying patterns are unclear, although the year has begun slowly. Traditionally, consumption starts to rise in the peak period from March onwards. The general state of the global economy is expected to be closely monitored as the European chemicals sector is forecast to see slow growth.
US oxo-alcohols supply is expected to be mostly steady during Q1 2019. The year began slowly after the usual Q4 slowdown in downstream architectural-coatings markets. Lower priced December propylene may increase early oxo-alcohols production ahead of what is expected to be a marginally stronger 2019 paints and coatings season.
Although some pent up US oxo-alcohols demand from downstream architectural coatings is likely from hurricanes and California wildfire damage in 2018, an early projection only predicts a moderate increase in year-on-year paint demand. However, forecasts of a broadly milder winter may strengthen oxo-alcohols demand as the paint-blending season gets underway in Q1.
We offer the following regional Oxo-alcohols analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Oxo-alcohols marketplace.
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The alcohols (NBA, IBA, and 2-EH) have some uses just as solvents, but are primarily used as feedstocks for other products.
The oxo-alcohols chain consists of n-butanol (NBA), isobutanol (IBA), and 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH). Around 50% of 2-EH is used to make plasticisers, mainly dioctyl phthalate (DOP).
DOP is a plasticiser, which is material used for plastic, typically polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to enhance its flexibility and malleability. Di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) is also a plasticiser.
NBA is a feedstock for butyl acrylate and methacrylate, butanol-based glycol ethers, butyl acetate (butac), and some plasticisers. IBA is used as a solvent for nitrocellulose, in hydraulic fluids, and as a resin modifier.
Key drivers for oxo-alcohols are the construction industry (home and commercial), the appliance industry, the automotive industry and industries that need imperial coating material.
In addition, the alcohols NBA, IBA, and 2-EH have some uses just as solvents.
Health risks include irritation to the eyes, skin and respiratory tracks when inhaled.
In Europe DOP has been re-labelled to a higher-risk category, featuring the skull and crossbones on packaging and machinery where it is used. DINP remains in the category below but is under investigation.
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