The ICIS Polyols reports are published weekly in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the US. This independent and unbiased pricing information covers a variety of grades including slabstock, high resilience, conventional and foam depending on the region.
Our locally-based network of reporters provide details of the factors affecting price movements. Commentary includes overviews, economic news, graphs, feedstock updates, demand and supply issues. This market intelligence will give you the confidence to make informed business decisions.
Updated to Q2 2019
Ample polyether polyols supply in Asia significantly outstripped demand in the second quarter, resulting in price declines as sellers actively sought buyers. Active competition among sellers subsequently took place, with offers dropped to encourage cargo uptake among buyers. Stable production for most part of the quarter ensured cargo availability throughout the region, and in local markets such as China. Scheduled shutdowns were scarce in the second quarter.
The cargo uptake rate was sluggish throughout the second quarter, as lacklustre demand amid uncertainty surrounding the US-China trade war weighed heavily on buyer confidence. Most Asian buyers opted to keep their inventories lean to minimise risks of losses should prices fluctuate further. The depreciation of the Chinese yuan and several Asian currencies against the US dollar also led buyers to keep procurement strictly to a domestic basis instead of importing.
The European polyols market was lengthy in large parts of 2019 as low consumption pushed supply up. German seller Covestro did declare a force majeure on polyether polyols at its 250,000 tonne/year Dormagen facility, according to a letter to its customers seen by ICIS and dated 15 April. The force majeure was the result of a crane accident and was lifted on 14 May. It had no large impact on availability, which stayed high.
Polyols consumption was low in the second quarter of 2019 on weak macroeconomics. The subsequent lack of consumer confidence weighed on demand. A few participants attributed weaker demand to customers moving away from downstream polyurethane (PU) foam after firmer pricing in 2017 for toluene diisocyanate (TDI), another feedstock for the product. Even though TDI pricing then plummeted to historic lows in 2019, sources said not all prior PU customers returned.
Middle East polyols supply esd stable in Q2, but spot import prices were stable-to-soft due to stiff price competition and limited demand, while the price of feedstock propylene oxide (PO) remained volatile. There were limited plant disruptions or shutdowns among the main polyols suppliers in Q2, but expectations of better margins due to PO price declines met with stagnant demand.
Flexible polyether polyols players have been largely on the sidelines through Q2 with Middle East market remaining generally stagnant through the first half of the year. Flexible foam production in the Middle East region has been depressed by slow demand for TDI and little improvement has been noted so far due to poor downstream demand from end-users. Rigid polyols have also been stable to soft through Q2, also due to weak downstream demand.
We offer the following regional Polyols analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polyols marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Polyols
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Polyols
Track historical price data
News & analysis
News & Analysis – News & market analysis specifically relating to Polyols
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets. Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settl ements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
Information is accessed online, via the ICIS dashboard service and is configurable to suit your preferences.
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
ICIS pricing intelligence is delivered to you online via the ICIS dashboard. Here you can view your reports and also access other useful services including related news, analysis, historical data and market alerts.
ICIS dashboard also makes it easy for you to create pricing charts, download price history and export data to create tailored analytical models.
ICIS weekly margin reports deliver the detail you need to understand how production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to judge the likely impact on your business and optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.
The Supply and Demand Window on the ICIS Dashboard provides a snapshot view of historical and forecast information for supply and demand, production capacity and trade flows – a key tool to help safeguard future investments within the chemicals market.
24-hour global coverage of breaking news in the petrochemical industry, including updates on production, shutdowns and key transacted deals, keeping you informed of market developments as they happen. The ICIS news service allows you to customise the market alerts delivered to your email inbox, providing the business-critical information you need straightaway.
An expert view of supply and demand comprising four fully-reconciled databases, giving you access to extensive data for more than 100 markets. Information is included on global and regional trade flows, production, capacity and sources of demand in the short-, medium- and long-term. Data can be downloaded, customised and queried to support your planning requirements and your strategic decisions.
ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
Find out more about ICIS training courses >>
ICIS produces a series of highly informative and timely conferences. Extensive research is carried out to ensure that each programme delivers the information you need and addresses current industry issues. We source speakers who have the appropriate expertise and experience to deliver excellent quality papers.
Find out more about ICIS conferences >>
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the ICIS consulting team deliver tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years’ experience of guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
ICIS expert consultants can provide your organisation with the insight, intelligence and data needed to build and grow your business in China. We can help you to gain a clear view on the short and long-term supply and demand picture in the chemicals, energy, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and paper and pulp markets in China.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Polyols, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Polyols are a primary polyurethanes component. A polyol and an isocyanate react to form polyurethane.
Polyols are one of the components used to make polyurethanes, the other being an isocyanate. There are two main types of polyols: polyether polyols and polyester polyols.
Polyether polyols are the most widely used with the main applications being rigid and flexible polyurethane foams. Rigid foams are used mainly in insulation, refrigeration, packaging and construction while flexible foams have applications such as upholstery, mattresses and seats. Polyols can also be used in elastomers, adhesives, coatings and fibres.
Polyester polyols compete with polyether polyols but may be preferred in some rigid foam applications because of their low cost and improved flame retardant properties. They can also provide improved wear resistance, heat aging and chemical resistance in elastomers, coatings, sealants and adhesives.
LONDON (ICIS)--Ukrainian energy companies are expecting to ramp up electricity imports from Belarus and Russia in November after off-takes resumed following a four-year hiatus. Electricity imports...Read
LONDON (ICIS)--Chemicals production in the eurozone and the wider EU increased by 0.2% in August compared to the previous month, according to data from the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat on...Read
LONDON (ICIS)--European polyethylene (PE) buyers and sellers are preparing for one of the biggest events in their calendar in a very uncertain market. - K 2019 begins on 16 October - Imports to...Read