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 Q4 2019
Polyether polyols’ supply in Asia remained largely ample throughout the fourth quarter, on the back of active production, import availability and sluggish uptake among buyers. Stable performance in the upstream propylene oxide (PO) market also led to limited fluctuation in polyols production. There were limited unforeseen outages seen in the Asian market in the fourth quarter, whereas scheduled shutdown maintenance projects were scarce. Acceptable production margins also kept run rates stable for some regional makers.
Demand for polyether polyols among Asia-based buyers was mostly stable for the earlier part of the fourth quarter, but buying appetite soon waned as the year-end festive period approached. Most buyers sought to keep inventories lean ahead of the festive season and closing of accounts by keeping buying activity strictly to a need-to basis. Downstream demand among foam mattress makers was also persistently described as weak, resulting in slow uptake for slabstock flexible foam lots.
Supply of polyols was ample to excessive in Europe in the fourth quarter. European producers have faced added competition from material imported from the Middle East, but are also competing with Asian exporters in Middle East and African markets. Excess supply was also a result seasonal destocking in Q4, along with depressed demand for flexible slabstock and most other polyurethanes. There were no known outages during the period.
Demand for polyols declined in Europe in the fourth quarter as uptake into the construction, bedding, furniture and automotive sectors failed to improve, pushing prices lower for five consecutive months. A confluence of external factors contributed to the subdued market sentiment, including political uncertainties around Brexit, tensions between the US and China, and a depressed global economic outlook, all of which rattled consumer confidence.
Polyols supply was stable, while spot polyether polyols imports in the Middle East have been stable to soft on stiff price competition and limited demand. There were limited shutdowns or plant disruptions among the main polyols suppliers, but effects on margins from propylene oxide (PO) price declines were countered by stagnant demand.
Flexible polyether polyols players have been largely on the sidelines, with the Middle East market remaining generally stagnant through much of the year. Flexible foam production in the Middle East region has been depressed by slow demand for toluene diisocyantes (TDI) and little improvement has been noted so far due to poor downstream demand from end-users. The rigid polyols market has also been stable-to-soft on weak downstream demand.
US polyol supplies remained long in the fourth quarter as the market was structurally long. Slow uptake from downstream polyurethane systems also kept polyol availability sufficient. No major production issues were heard during the fourth quarter.
Demand for polyols and downstream polyurethane systems was seasonally weaker in the fourth quarter and was generally slower than usual in 2019 relative to 2018. The construction sector, a major consumer of polyurethane systems, entered its traditional slow season in the fourth quarter, after a disappointing high season. The global automotive sector also had a disappointing year in 2019 and this impacted its demand in the fourth quarter.
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.
MOSCOW (MRC)--Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Belarus rose in the first eleven months of 2019 by 10%, year on year, to 99,800 tonnes, according to a MRC’s DataScope report. Homopolymer PP...Read