US IPA prices see modest declines as supply increases

Deniz Koray

08-May-2020

HOUSTON (ICIS)– While demand for isopropanol (IPA) continues to be strong due to surging demand for hand sanitizers, prices are starting to come down from previous highs.

Demand for sanitizers remains high among hospitals, state governments, and consumers. However, prices are seeing declines due to increased supply – both from imports arriving to the US and from greater domestic production. Many companies have made the production of isopropanol a priority.

In addition, Chinese imports for arrival later in the month have increased and are now seen on their way to multiple North American ports, not just ones on the West Coast.

IPA prices delivered (DEL) to the US Gulf are assessed at 85-200 cents/lb ($1,874-4,409/tonne). This is unchanged on the low end and a decrease of 15 cents/lb on the high end.

Meanwhile on spot markets, IPA FOB to the US Gulf are 120-220 cents/lb, a decrease of 5 cents/lb on the low end and 30 cents/lb on the high end.

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For the first time in more than a month, multiple market participants said they saw prices below $2.00/lb on the spot market fairly regularly. While there were still instances of prices above $2.00/lb, the highest levels of previous weeks were not seen.

One player said that in the past two weeks, spot prices from the same source fell from more than $3.00/lb, to the $2.00/lb range. Others saw a more gradual decline in the highest range of prices.

US IPA suppliers include ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell, Monument Chemical and Shell Chemical.

Visit the ICIS coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.

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