Isophthalic Acid Price Trend

For the First Quarter of 2022

Asia

The isophthalic acid market remained uncertain and closely monitored upstream and xylene prices in an attempt to balance PX-MX and MX over feedstock naphtha margins. PX-MX margins have been hovering around 110 USD/MT in March, while MX margins over feedstock naphtha fluctuated between 120-140 USD/MT. March shipments remain constrained, owing to recent upstream volatility and the earthquake in Japan affecting the supply-demand balance of the feedstock meta-xylene. Sentiment in the product's market was expected to remain strong in the fourth quarter, despite the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the possibility of more sanctions against Russia. In March, isophthalic acid prices were estimated to be 1350 USD/MT FOB Busan in South Korea.

Europe

In Q1 2022, the market was robust, with crude and natural gas prices increasing in comparison to the previous quarter. The region's inventories were harmed by high freight costs and escalating logistical challenges, including a scarcity of carriers, port and appropriation focus staff, which impacted the isophthalic market. In March, Germany's feedstock xylene costs reached a record high due to rising energy prices caused by the escalating Russia-Ukraine war. In Germany, the price was 1700 USD/MT CFR Hamburg during the first quarter of this year.

North America

In Q1 2022, isophthalic acid prices increased significantly due to the robust xylene and natural gas markets in the United States. Mixed xylene costs increased in North America in the first quarter of 2022, owing to high demand from downstream polyethylene terephthalate producers. Throughout this time period, the pricing pattern for isophthalic acid was supported by the unpredictability of upstream crude oil prices and the strength of crude and natural gas offers. Constraints in logistics and high transportation costs increased the price of the chemical for international merchants. In the United States, the price was 1700 USD/MT CFR Louisiana in March 2022.

For the Fourth Quarter of 2021

Asia

In Asia Pacific, the market remained robust in the subsequent months of Q4. In India and China, the feedstock xylene market remained tight, and margins were squeezed in the aftermath of the ZPC production ramp, with the PX and MX spread finishing at 88.50 USD/MT in the first week of November. Isophthalic acid prices in India were reduced to 1391 USD/MT Ex-Vadodara in the final week of December. Inflationary pressures and import restrictions have already pushed up the price of isophthalic acid in the region, which was expected to fall only slightly.

Europe

The chemical’s European market remained solid despite rising feedstock prices. Demand from downstream users was strong, although traders battled to get their goods throughout the quarter. Additionally, recycled PET production remained stagnant, increasing dependency on virgin PET. Limited local production of isophthalic acid and the inaccessibility of imports from Asia worsened the problem, resulting in substandard operating rates and abridging the whole supply chain. Additionally, manufacturers stated that increased feedstock costs had exacerbated the pressure on isophthalic acid.

North America

In North America, demand for and the price of the chemical remained stable throughout Q4. The market for m-Xylene feedstock was similarly robust, owing to the increase in naphtha and crude oil prices. The demand for isophthalic acid was greatly influenced by an increase in the region's demand for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resins. As DAK Americas announced a force majeure in Mexico, availability of isophthalic acid got limited, exacerbating the pressure on locally available material.

For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021

Asia

Isophthalic Acid supplies in the Asian market were tight-to-balanced, owing to low inventory levels of the key feedstock m-Xylene. The widening supply-demand imbalance, aided by a strengthening crude oil market, triggered a spike in isophthalic acid prices in Q1, with FOB Shanghai prices ending at 1460 USD/MT in March. Prices in Southeast Asia fluctuated throughout the second quarter as market activity slowed in the first quarter due to the region's increasing COVID cases. Ex-Depot negotiations for the chemical concluded in June at a price of 1348 USD/MT.

Demand in the region increased significantly in the second quarter, owing to an increase in export volumes to the international market, particularly from the United States, as industrial activity returned along the Gulf coast. Isophthalic acid rices increased somewhat in the middle of Q3 as a result of supply chain disruptions and port congestion. However, by the conclusion of the quarter, prices had recovered. In India, the price of the chemical skyrocketed, exacerbated by expensive freight costs, as India imports the majority of it from Korea and other nations. Additionally, delayed imports owing to congestion on interoceanic trade routes and a scarcity of shipping containers weighed on India's isophthalic market. As a result, Ex-Vadodara prices settled at 1479.26 USD/MT in September, a considerable increase above July levels.

Europe

During the first quarter of 2021, the market had a supply shortage owing to hindered transit between Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp routes during the region's severe winters.

In the second quarter, isophthalic acid prices improved compared to the previous quarter, as operating rates increased at numerous plants following production-related issues disrupting dynamics throughout the winter season in Q1. Additionally, imports from North America and the Middle East increased as a result of the completion of turnaround periods at many large industrial sites. Demand from downstream manufacturing industries increased significantly as a result of widespread immunization campaigns and relaxation of limitations in the plasticizers business.

The market outlook for the chemical remained muted during the third quarter, while offtake from downstream industries improved. Isophthalic costs were steadily increasing as a result of ongoing upstream pricing pressure and reduced production rates across the European region. Additionally, restricted imports from the United States as a result of the Ida storm in August impacted pricing in Europe.

North America

The North American market experienced supply constraints in the first quarter of 2021, owing to shortages of critical feedstock chemicals as a result of a capacity loss of approximately 70% in the US petrochemicals industry. The industrial infrastructure in Texas and the surrounding gulf area had been seriously harmed by the polar winter storm, which forced many weeks of plant shutdowns.

Throughout the second quarter, supplies of the chemical were limited. Demand increased as industrial activity recovered throughout the US Gulf Coast and the manufacturing sector recovered, aided by supply chain recovery. Isophthalic acid prices were stable in the second quarter of 2021, as a result of increased benzene prices and increased demand.

Prices were high in Q3 2021 in North America, continuing the pattern from preceding quarters. Additionally, the increase in the price of feedstock had an effect on the price of isophthalic acid and its downstream products, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polybenzimidazole. As a result, prices continued to climb in Q3, owing to increased demand and restricted supply.

For the Year 2020

Asia

In China, supply remained adequate owing to stable downstream industry operating rates, but supply tightened in the rest of region, particularly India, due to increased freight expenses. China's demand remained quite stable, owing to the fact that downstream polyester facilities maintained relatively stable rates. Demand from the import side, particularly from India, was rather solid, as polyester operating rates were kept high, which benefited isophthalic acid prices in India. In the Fourth quarter, by the end of December 2020, isophthalic acid prices in India will average 1036 USD/MT ex-Depot Mumbai.

Europe

Numerous chemical wholesalers ceased operations in the Netherlands in Q4 due to challenges in dealing via a variety of avenues. Due to the shutdown, arrivals of isophthalic acid cargoes from the APAC region in Q4 were also delayed, while the plastic and packaging industries faced heightened demand. As the market was likely to rebound in Q1 on the back of the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations, by the end of December, isophthalic acid inquiries had significantly increased, resulting in a large increase in its pricing in the European region in the quarter ending December 2020.

North America

In North America, demand for was weak in Q4 due to decreased market activity following October's hurricane season. Additionally, demand for the plastics industry remained depressed, since these segments are heavily reliant on end-use industries such as automotive, packaging, and construction, which were yet to revert to pre-lockdown levels. Players in isophthalic acid were rebounding from their Q3 losses, but with demand being weak, which was expected to take some time for prices to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Procurement Resource Database

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Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Isophthalic Acid. 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.

Chart Description:

Procurement Resource provides prices of Isophthalic Acid for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
  • Africa

About Isophthalic Acid

Isophthalic acid is a benzenedicarboxylic acid with carboxy groups at positions 1 and 3 substituting for benzene. The other two isomers of benzenedicarboxylic acid are phthalic and terephthalic acids, respectively. It's an isophthalate conjugate acid. Isophthalic acid is a white substance that has a mild odor. It Sinks in water.

Molecular formula:

  • C6H4(CO2H)2

Molecular weight:

  • 166.14 g/mol

Synonyms:

  • Benzene-1,3-dicarboxylic acid
  • meta-Phthalic acid

Production processes:

  • Production and Isophthalic Acid from Oxidation Process

Isophthalic acid is manufactured from the oxidation of m-xylene. During this phase, p-xylene is oxidised to create isophthalic acid. As an intermediary crude isophthalic acid, the product is split into isophthalic acid (CIA). The CIA is hydrogenated and purified to produce isophthalic acid as the end product.

Applications:

  • PET Resin
  • UPR Resin
  • Polyesters

Supplier Database:

  • Eastman
  • LOTTE Chemical
  • Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical
  • Mitsubishi Gas Chemical
  • Indorama
  • Formosa

Note: Our supplier search experts can assist your procurement teams in compiling and validating a list of suppliers indicating they have products, services, and capabilities that meet your company's needs.

Methodology:

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).

Procurement Resource also provides the detailed production cost analysis of Isophthalic Acid See more

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