US IPA prices fall as supply becomes more ample

Author: Deniz Koray

2020/07/17

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Isopropanol (IPA) prices declined this week, according to multiple sources in different market segments.

Players said the primary reason for the declining prices was lengthening supply.

While importers were previously the drivers of decreasing prices, domestic producers have had more readily-available supply this week. Although domestic producers are still more expensive, the gap has declined.

There are also no significant production issues in the US at the moment.

US domestic prices fell 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne). Prices are assessed at 85-105 cents/lb ($1874-2315/tonne) delivered (DEL) US Gulf.

In spot markets, prices fell 10 cents/lb on the low end and 15 cents/lb on the high end.  Prices are assessed at 90-105 cents/lb FOB US Gulf.

ICIS Editorial Chart goes here

Although prices have continued to come down, market participants note demand remains strong for hand sanitizers. However, as producers have increased production and are now better prepared for heightened demand from consumers and end users, the March and April shortages are no longer occurring.

On the other hand, industrial demand for IPA has declined.  For example, demand from the oil and gas sector has been lower since the start of pandemic.  As a result, the lower industrial demand has partially offset the rise in sanitary demand at the end of Q2 and thus far in Q3.

IPA is a solvent used in many industrial and consumer products. Applications include cosmetics, personal care products, de-icers, paints and resins, pharmaceuticals and inks and adhesives.

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.