For the First Quarter of 2022
During the first quarter of 2022, dimethyl carbonate prices varied in the Asian market due to changing feedstock methanol prices. Due to China's zero-covid policy, dimethyl carbonate prices in the Chinese market fell, while demand from the automotive sector remained stable. However, prices grew in India due to rising demand for electric vehicles in the automotive industry, particularly in the second quarter. Supply chain disruptions and rising crude oil prices had a greater impact on raw material supplies and dimethyl carbonate manufacturing costs in the region.
Dimethyl carbonate prices rose in the European market because of rising demand for downstream electric vehicles, which raised demand for Di-Methyl Carbonate in these industries, affecting prices in the first quarter of 2022. The region's production rates were hampered by high energy prices during the quarter. Methanol feedstock prices, on the other hand, remained constant in the market. As a result of the uncertainty in product supply to the market, prices in Q1 increased. In addition, disruptions in the supply chain, particularly in March following the war in the East-European area, increased the value of the chemical in the local market.
In the first quarter of 2022, dimethyl carbonate prices in the North American market continued to rise. During Q1, the price of the feedstock Methanol rose in the domestic market, raising the cost of Di-Methyl Carbonate’s manufacturing. In Q1 2022, the cleaning agent industries' demand remained stable. Cleaner energy efforts raised demand for EV vehicles after the July 26 Glassgow meeting, which increased the chemical’s demand in the US market. After inflation in crude oil prices, which was influenced by the war between Russia and Ukraine, the values grew even more in the second part of the quarter.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
Due to China's tight enforcement of environmental protection policies, hefty rates, and restricted availability of freight boats in the area, DMC attitudes in the Asia Pacific market have been mixed. The operational rates at Chinese manufacturing facilities declined dramatically in the first half owing to the simultaneous restriction on energy usage and power rationing, resulting in a supply surplus and increased raw material costs. In the second half, after the power rationing, dimethyl carbonate prices diverged from its reliance on raw material costs, with offers in the domestic market plummeting. The bids fell as a result, and FOB Shenzhen negotiations for DMC resolved at 1570 USD/MT towards the end of the quarter.
The DMC market in the European domestic market saw conflicting feelings throughout the fourth quarter of 2021. Due to high freight prices and restricted availability of freight vessels, the offers dwindled after reaching an all-time high. Domestic operational loads were reduced as a result of Europe's prolonged energy crisis. Demand remained strong, especially following the COP 26 summit, when players scrambled to secure long-term supply of electrolytes for electric vehicle batteries.
Despite the fact that emotions in the US domestic market were strong throughout the quarter, the DMC market had a mixed trend in the fourth quarter of 2021. Since the COP 26 Glasgow meeting, demand has risen dramatically as players have engaged in the EV sector's greener energy projects. As a result, the demand forecast exceeds the domestic supply potential. The shortfall was closed once Chinese deliveries were restarted, despite the high freight costs providing enough cost support for imported materials. In the US domestic market, however, bids for the chemical remained buoyant due to strong demand.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
Raw material methanol prices rose in the Asia Pacific region during the third quarter, followed by stable offtakes from downstream sectors despite tight supply conditions. Methanol's increasing momentum in Asia reached a new peak in the latter week of September, with China and India leading the way. Furthermore, because methanol is mostly produced in China via the coal route, steady increases in coal costs since the beginning of Q3 have put upward pressure on its fundamentals in the regional market. Participants procured methanol cargoes from the Middle East during the regional scarcity, resulting in a large price increase in the nation. Dimethyl carbonate prices in India continued to rise in Q3 due to restricted availability of the commodity in the local market, primarily in Northeast Asia. Methanol prices in India increased little in the third quarter, rising from 422 USD/MT to 449 USD/MT.
Methanol demand remained high in Q3 of 2021, owing to a scarcity of raw materials and restricted local output. Imports from the United States were limited since a key plant, YCI, did not begin manufacturing methanol until the third quarter. Furthermore, OCIS's facility in the Netherlands was operating at full capacity. In September, dimethyl carbonate prices rose to 475 USD/MT CFR Hamburg. Methanol price is likely to climb further in Q4 as a result of restricted international imports and growing demand. Several participants, however, believe that rising imports from the United States will help to stabilise supplies.
During Q3 2021, the general pricing estimate for methanol, the raw material for dimethyl carbonate, increased significantly in the North American area. Hurricane Ida, which made landfall on August 29th in Louisiana, caused the shutdown of leading industrial plants including Methanex's Geismar plants with a capacity of 1 million MT/year and YCI's St. James Methanol facility with a capacity of 1.7 million MT/year. Methanex's Geismar facility was shut down for the most of September, resulting in a tight supply for the quarter. Methanol spot prices in the first week of October were 610 USD/MT Ex-Works Louisiana, up 12.5 percent from the end of August.
For the Year 2020
The Asian methanol market remained clouded by uncertainty, despite lowering Middle Eastern supplies. Despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions in various economies at the end of Q2 2020, export volumes to Southeast Asia remained to be affected by the pandemic. Slowing demand from the downstream formaldehyde and solvent industries, which account for the majority of regional demand, resulted in rising stockpiles at Indian, Thai, and Singapore ports. Methanol spot prices in China hit new lows in June, owing to a surge in import cargoes that pushed margins further lower. Although the country appears to be recovering from the effects of the pandemic, downstream demand has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The second wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe interrupted the supply of various industrial and imported chemicals, resulting in a feedstock chemical scarcity, which drove up the price of Ethylene Carbonate, another important feedstock of dimethyl carbonate. In October, Exxonmobil's Ethylene producing operation in Scotland caught fire, forcing it to shut down for several days. This resulted in a greater scarcity of upstream ethylene, which is needed to make downstream ethylene oxide and carbonate. Meanwhile, the European Commission said that it has invested heavily in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries in Europe. By 2024, this investment is expected to propel Europe to second place in battery manufacture. Because EC is mostly utilised in Li-ion batteries, demand is expected to increase.
Coronavirus harmed the North American methanol industry's Q2 demand outlook, owing to unfavourable dynamics in the US market. Dimethyl carbonate prices on the US Gulf Coast fell to nearly four-year lows as the US continued to dominate the globe in terms of infection rates. While downstream demand remained basically unchanged from April, reduced gasoline blending owing to weaker demand fundamentals worsened the price decline. Several US companies, like as Celanese and LyondellBasell, lowered their annual capex estimates and postponed potential facility expansions due to the impact of chronic Methanol market dullness.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Dimethyl Carbonate. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.
Procurement Resource provides prices of Dimethyl Carbonate for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
About Dimethyl Carbonate
DMC, or dimethyl carbonate, is an organic chemical that is a colourless, flammable liquid with a pleasant odour. It's in the form of a carbonate ester. Trinitrotoluene (TNT) and toluene diisocyanate are made from it. This chemical compound is employed as a methylating agent or a solvent and is free from the limits imposed in the United States on most volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Carbon Monoxide, Oxygen and Methanol are the main ingredients that react. This reaction proceeds in the presence of a catalyst which is usually copper chloride.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).
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