ICIS publishes our reliable and trustworthy propylene oxide report in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis. Independent and unbiased pricing assessments are quoted for spot and contract, depending on the region. Our locally-based reporters gather market intelligence to compile commentary to include insight into demand and supply movements, upstream and downstream trends, trade and production data and any other key influencing factors that may impact prices in the market at the time.
If you’re involved in this market, ICIS can provide you with this essential tool to make informed and confident business choices.
Updated to Q4 2018
Overall PO supply in China is expected to improve in the fourth quarter, compared to the quarter prior, as there were less plant turnarounds scheduled. A 100,000 tonne/year line in Jilin which has been shut since early August is also expected to resume in October.
PO demand is expected to edge up, if the anticipated seasonal increases in quarters three and four materialise this time round. Usually, downstream foam factories will boost production in these quarters to prepare for a typical hike in consumer requirements for finished products during the year-end festive shopping season.
It remains unclear how European PO supply will pan out this year, because it will depend on how strong the winter season demand is from the downstream mono propylene glycol (MPG) sector.
European Q4 PO demand will very much depend on how downstream demand for MPG and polyols pans out. MPG demand from the de-icer sector typically gains momentum during the winter. Downstream polyols demand typically slows seasonally during the fourth quarter. Turnaround preparation for 2019 is also likely to be another consideration.
Updated to Q4 2017
PO supply is likely to tighten as demand increases on concerns about availability because of production issues after hurricane Harvey. In the US, there are four major producers of propylene oxide (PO), with the bulk of production being captive, and, as a result, minimal market information is available.
Demand for PO and downstream polyols is rising in early October, on industry participants’ concerns about securing inventories in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey. However, the increase in demand may moderate as plants regularise production.
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Over 80% of propylene oxide (PO) goes into two main uses: polyether polyols (60%) and propylene glycol (21%).
Propylene oxide (PO) is a very volatile, colourless, flammable liquid with a characteristic ether-like odour. PO reacts violently with chlorine, ammonia, strong oxidants and acids causing fire and explosion hazards.
Propylene oxide is a highly reactive chemical used as an intermediate for the production of numerous commercial materials. The largest derivative of PO is polyether polyols, one of the main components used in the manufacture of polyurethanes. Propylene glycol (PG) is the second largest PO derivative.
Propylene oxide is made traditionally by chlorohydrin or epoxidation routes. The propylene oxide/styrene monomer (PO/SM) epoxidation process had been gaining in popularity due to its superior economics. However, new PO technologies that do not made coproducts have now been commercialised.
General downstream PO sectors include bedding and furniture; construction and automotive.
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