Petrotahlil --After an unprecedented surge in demand in the spring, US isopropanol (IPA) demand continues to trend downwards.
This downward movement first began in Q2 and has continued throughout Q3 and now at the start of Q4.
The primary driver of IPA demand in early 2020 was the hand sanitizer market. As coronavirus cases increased rapidly in February and March, consumers perceived hand sanitizers as an effective measure in limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
Since then, even as coronavirus cases steadily rose in June and July and have begun a more gradual third wave in October, IPA demand (and hand sanitizer demand in particular) has continued to be flat or down.
Domestic IPA prices fell by 1 cent/lb ($22/tonne) on the low end and 4 cents/lb on the high end and are now assessed at 55-62 cents/lb DEL (delivered) US Gulf.
On the spot market, prices fell 3 cents/lb on the low and 5 cents/lb on the high end, narrowing the assessed range to 55-59 cents/lb FOB (free on board) US Gulf.
AUGUST TRADE DATA
August trade data is now available. Please check the ICIS Supply and Demand Database for more detailed information.
|Country||July (imports in tonnes)||August|
While imports from South Africa increased, received volumes from all major Asian IPA importers declined. Additionally, INEOS is having a turnaround at its German facility.
Reflecting the decrease in demand, imports and exports both declined from July to August.
IPA imports fell 20% from the previous month and are now at their lowest levels since April.
Exports fell 43% from July to August, and levels have not been this low since February.
In the US export market, October spot prices also declined as market participants said demand was very low.
A player said that demand for US exports remained low in Latin America despite a notable increase in shipping and container costs from Asia. Although US prices are now more competitive, transactions have been limited due to the weak demand.
Prices fell 5 cents/lb on the low end and 6 cents/lb on the high end of the pricing range. Export prices are now assessed at 49-52 cents/lb US Gulf.
US IPA suppliers include ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell, Monument Chemical and Shell Chemical.
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Source : ICIS