The ICIS Phthalic anhydride reports will keep you informed and up-to-date with market movements in Asia, Europe and the US. Our network of locally-based reporters publish weekly price assessments for spot and contract, depending on the region.
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Updated to Q1 2019
Supply is anticipated to be balanced in Q1 as no plant maintenance has been announced. On the other hand, some producers in China are considering exporting naphthalene-based PA into southeast Asia. The region may also see additional supply from India as domestic demand softens.
Demand in the key China market is anticipated to remain muted. While some buyers continue to import cargoes, China has increasingly become self-sufficient in its PA supply. In southeast Asia, demand is expected to remain stable, supported by downstream plasticizers. Demand from India is expected to remain tepid amid ample domestic supply.
Provided Lanxess and Ostend Basic Chemicals resume production as planned in the early days of January, supply is expected to be ample in the first quarter. There are no planned outages scheduled for this period.
Demand will traditionally strengthen towards the peak consumption period from March onwards. Downstream plasticizers demand is expected to remain flat to marginally firmer in line with GDP in Europe. The vast majority of PA requirements are expected to be covered under contract.
Supply of phthalic anhydride (PA) is expected to pick up in the spring, as producers face more incentive to produce at higher rates in order to meet the increase in demand. The first quarter is typically when producers start to face an uptick in orders. However, pressure from the crude market could remain, which would place additional pressure on producers.
Demand of phthalic anhydride (PA) is expected to come out of the seasonal drop off late in Q1 and buyers will be encouraged to secure more product. A strong economy could also give buyers further incentive to purchase more, however weak crude prices may negate this impact.
We offer the following regional Phthalic anhydride analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Phthalic anhydride marketplace.
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Over half the production of phthalic anhydride is used in the manufacture of phthalate esters, employed as plasticisers in PVC. Other major uses are in polyester resins and (decreasingly) in alkyd resins.
Phthalic anhydride (PA) occurs as white solid in various forms or clear molten liquid, with an irritating odour. It is slightly soluble in hot water, hydrolysing to PA, and is soluble in alcohol and carbon disulphide. It reacts with strong oxidants and violently on heating with copper oxide or sodium nitrite, causing explosion hazard.
The major outlet for PA, accounting for just over half of production, is in the manufacture of phthalate plasticisers, the main product being dioctyl phthalate (DOP) which is used as a plasticiser in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The second largest outlet is in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) which are usually blended with glass fibres to produce fibreglass-reinforced plastics. Principal markets are construction, marine and transportation.
The third largest outlet is PA-based alkyd resins, which are used in solvent-based coatings for architectural, machinery, furniture and fixture applications.
Small volume uses for PA include the manufacture of dyes and pigments, detergents, herbicides and insecticides, fire retardants, saccharin and polyester resin cross-linking agents.
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