For the First Quarter of 2022
China's domestic propylene glycol market increased at first in 2022, then dropped. The chemical was priced at 14200 RMB/MT on March 31. This reflects a significant decreasing trend in pricing, since it was priced at 14680 RMB/MT on March 24.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
As a result of rising raw material costs, constrained supply, and high freight expenses, PG prices in the Asian Market hit their highest level of the year in October. Price shocks also occurred in China as a result of the Chinese government's Dual Control Policy for energy rationing, which prompted manufacturers to cut their operating rates in their facilities. Despite still strong pharma sector demand, average PG prices fell in November as supply chain issues eased, allowing propylene oxide feedstock to reach its destination. Price in China in December hovered at 2824 USD/MT FOB Qingdao, due to falling raw material prices.
Throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, the European PG market remained constrained. Prices continued to rise due to rising feedstock costs and a catastrophic energy crisis that boosted input costs. With the rapidly spreading Omicron variant in the region, demand in the pharmaceuticals industry increased at an unprecedented rate in the second half of the quarter. Due to supply chain interruptions in the first half of the year and COVID-related transportation constraints near the end of the quarter, propylene glycol spot prices remained high. In December, the average FOB Hamburg price was estimated to be 2670 USD/MT in Germany.
Because of robust propylene oxide and propylene feedstock, as well as exploding upstream crude oil prices, the market in North America witnessed soaring price patterns in October. Force majeure in numerous US facilities as a result of the Ida hurricane's destruction widened the country's supply shortfall. In November, however, the manufacturers were able to see some respite due to the refiling of crude oil inventories through the coordinated release of strategic reserves and the recovery of hurricane-affected plant activities. Nonetheless, the market was encircled by increased tightness in propylene feedstock supplies as a result of reduced operations following a fire explosion at ExxonMobil's Baytown facility, causing prices to jump once more, settling between 2895 and 3055 USD/MT FOB West Coast.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
PG supplies in the Asia Pacific region were restricted due to reduced availability of the feedstock as a result of planned plant turnarounds at various production units, as well as a drop in Middle Eastern imports. Due to supply-side challenges caused by the Chinese New Year holidays, output was further curtailed in mid-February. Throughout the quarter, demand remained high, thanks to increased consumption from the downstream antifreeze and pharmaceutical industries. Prices soared across the region due to rising feedstock costs and low production. In India, prices were recorded at 1399 USD/MT on a CFR basis in March, while the price of dipropylene glycol was 1680 USD/MT.
Due to the limited availability of feedstock, supply in the European region were tight during Q1 2021, with the majority of the feedstock being redirected to the production of polyols. Furthermore, supplies remained constrained due to a 50% drop in imports from the United States and the Middle East in the previous quarter, where a large petrochemical factory declared turnaround in February. However, demand soared as the antifreeze sector's use surged owing to the winter season.
Prices rose in the third quarter of 2021, owing to rising demand from the end-user industry in Europe. In H2, European propylene glycol spot prices continued to fall, despite better availability across the region. In Q3, demand from the regional market remained stable, as did offtakes from the downstream pharmaceutical and personal care sector.
PG supply was disrupted again in the first quarter of 2021, extending the earlier disruptions, reducing the supply of dipropylene glycol. As in the first half of the year, a large factory was undergoing repair, limiting feedstock availability, and strong freeze weather conditions in the US Gulf region caused output problems in the middle of the year. However, as the winter season arrived in the region, demand increased, boosting antifreeze consumption. Prices in North America rose due to increased demand and limited supply. Dow Chemicals raised the price of propylene glycol by 22 USD/MT for both grades in March.
During the third quarter of 2021, prices in the North American region remained positive. The price of propylene glycol rose due to a shortage of raw materials and strong demand from the pharmaceutical industry. Production disruptions caused by Hurricane Ida, which made landfall on the US Gulf Coast in August, exacerbated the region's supply shortages. The steady rise in pricing was due to a severe shortage of the feedstock propylene oxide and ongoing operational difficulties.
For the Year 2020
Due to turnarounds at upstream propylene oxide facilities, supply of propylene glycol remained scarce in Q4 2020, limiting production of mono and dipropylene glycol. A regional shortage of the industrial grade propylene glycol occurred from a squeezed supply from China. As the region suffered chilly winters, the anti-freeze sector's quarterly demand was substantially supported by the Aviation Industry. Propylene Glycol prices in India fell somewhat in the first half of Q4, then increased steadily throughout the quarter, resulting in an average price of 1275 USD/MT, which is expected to rise in the following months. Since dipropylene glycol is formed as a byproduct of propylene glycol which is produced in a propylene oxide hydrolysis process, the price of dipropylene glycol depends on the production and price of propylene glycol (PG). The average price of dipropylene glycol in 2020 was nearly 1350 USD/MT.
The European PG market suffered constraint in Q4 principally because of reported lack of the feedstock propylene oxide as its volumes were heard getting redirected towards the polyols production. The fragrance industry's demand for dipropylene glycol remained strong, while the pharmaceutical industry saw a significant increase in demand to battle the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Sudden jump in the product prices across the Asian markets and seasonal hurricanes in the US spurred trade queries from the European region.
Beyond the well-known COVID-19 supply chain concerns, inclement and unpredictable weather has had the greatest impact on the available supply and current price of PG. For example, the hurricane season of 2020 triggered plant closures across Texas and Louisiana, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in PG production. The severe winter storms that blasted over Texas a few months later nearly totally froze output, with about 90% of PG manufacturing shutting down. Hard freezes froze rivers and made highways inaccessible, affecting even domestic shipping. To make matters worse, the feedstock needed in the production of PG was in short supply, and a jump in demand for PG in both Q3 and Q4 left demand far surpassing supply. As a result, transportation costs in 2021 are expected to be substantially greater than in 2020, and the price of PG is expected to continue to rise.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Dipropylene Glycol. 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 Dipropylene Glycol for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
About Dipropylene Glycol:
Dipropylene glycol is known as a mixture of three isomeric chemical compounds, namely 2-propan-1-ol, 4-oxa-2,6-heptandiol, and 2--propan-1-ol. In appearance, it is a colourless liquid that is odourless as well. It is miscible with water and soluble in ethanol. It comes in two grades, that is, fragrance grade and industrial grade. It is a common ingredient in commercial fog fluid and is also used as a solvent for a lot of applications owing to its properties.
Chemical Formula of Dipropylene Glycol:
Dipropylene Glycol is produced in a two-step process. The first step involves the reaction of propylene oxide with water to obtain a mixture of monopropylene glycol (MPG) and Dipropylene Glycol (DPG). In the second step, the obtained mixture undergoes distillation and purification to separate the two components and finally obtain Dipropylene Glycol.
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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).