Get the latest insights on price movement and trends analysis of Propylene Oxide in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).
Propylene Oxide Price Trends for First Half of 2023
The first quarter of 2023 proved to be in favor of the rise in the price of propylene oxide owing to high volatility in the upstream crude oil and feedstock costs. In the mid-quarter, the rise was much more significant due to the limited availability of products as the production rates slumped in the region. However, in the second quarter, the trends moved downwards with insufficient support from the downstream industries and constriction in the purchasing potential of buyers. The decline was more prominent in the month of June as the high level of production was not met with suitable demand.
In Europe, the price trends of propylene oxide fell throughout the first and second quarters of 2023 due to a lack of support from the market conditions. Consistently falling prices of crude oil and rising rates of interest took a heavy toll on the prices of propylene oxide. Among the downstream industries, construction and polyol were specifically low. In addition to this, low procurement rates from domestic and international buyers and a lower number of inquiries ultimately resulted in the decline in propylene oxide prices.
The US banking sector fell consistently in the first and second quarter of 2023, and due to this, the interest rates charged by banks increased several folds, which affected the propylene oxide price trends negatively. The conditions became much more challenging in the second quarter as demand and feedstock sectors remained in the negative zone. The uprising inflation, slow movements in downstream industries, and economic downfall in the region eventually led to the decline in the price trends of propylene oxide.
According to Procurement Resource, the price trends of Propylene Oxide is expected to fall in the upcoming quarters due to declining demand, a challenging economy, and high rates of inflation.
Propylene Oxide Price Trends for the Second Half of 2022
The Asian-Pacific region saw a fluctuating trends in the third quarter due to the oscillating feedstock prices and reduction in production costs by the manufacturers. The prices increased a bit in the mid-quarter as the crude oil prices increased, impacting the petrochemical and allied sectors.
This incline was, however, short-lived and the prices of propylene oxide took a dip towards the end of the quarter. This declining trends continued till the fourth quarter. Port congestion leading to disruption in export-import in South Korea and China, decreased manufacturing, destocking by local exporters, and global freight changes negatively affected the propylene oxide price trendss.
The third quarter saw fluctuation in the prices of propylene oxide. These are majorly attributed to the reduction in feedstock prices and the decrease in downstream orders from the end-user industries. Another factor adding to the declining-inclining price trends is the rise in inflation that depreciated the value of the currency.
The prices, however, stabilized towards the end of the quarter. This was not seen further in the fourth quarter, as the prices dipped due to declining demand, increased production costs and a shortage of supply. Manufacturers reduced their profit margins amid high inflation rates and reduced inquiries.
The North American market oscillated in the third quarter of 2022. The decline in prices was attributed to the reduction in the cost of production. The feedstock prices also fluctuated along with the increase in inventories. The price trends of propylene oxide was also influenced by reduced crude oil prices. The prices saw a slight incline towards the end of the third quarter, but this was not followed in the fourth quarter and the prices gradually declined throughout the quarter.
According to Procurement Resource, the prices of Propylene Oxide are expected to decline in the coming month given the reduced demand, rising inflation, and fluctuating crude oil prices.
For the Second Quarter of 2022
In June 2022, the price for propylene oxide fell in the Chinese market as the price of feedstock propylene weakened. The demand from downstream industries as well as in the regional market was low along with flat shipments which in turn supported the low prices. In the second week of June, the average propylene oxide prices were assessed at around 11,033 RMB/MT dropping by almost 4.34% since May 2022.
For the First Quarter of 2022
The average enterprise price of propylene oxide was 11,800.00 RMB/MT on February 10, up 6.31% from January 10, and up 28.19% in a three-month cycle. The price of propylene oxide on the market increased in the second week of February.
The price of the raw material propylene had been pretty robust in Q1 of 2022, and the cost side had some support. Some firms were running at a low capacity, and supply was scarce. The downstream on-demand follow-up scenario was adequate. The mainstream propylene oxide quote in Shandong's propylene oxide market on the 10th was approximately 11,500-11,600 RMB/MT.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
The cascading impact of the surge in crude oil prices on global supply constraints caused propylene and other oil equivalents to gain value in price trendss, driving up propylene oxide prices in Asia in October and November. The polyurethane industry's market for propylene oxide remained robust throughout the quarter.
With spot activity picking up pace following a brief respite in the global port container crisis in December, the prompt delivery of import supplies forced traders in India to make downward revisions to PO contracts, which were hovering around 2934 USD/MT Ex-Mumbai. Meanwhile, the Japanese market saw a fall in propylene oxide prices throughout December, following record highs in November, but the percentage decline was not big enough due to constant costs of implementing in the polyurethane sectors.
The European market faced the brunt of crude oil supply limits and spiking energy prices, which combined to create manufacturing constraints for PO resulting in considerable price increases all through the 4th quarter of 2021. The relentless rise in upward cost pressures combined with the rising demands for PO in the polyol industry compelled producers to make regular upward price revisions to generate significant netbacks. Germany propylene oxide prices, which settled around 3595 USD/MT FOB Hamburg in December, suggested low domestic inventories in the face of increased export activity.
In North America, the PO market entered the final quarter of 2021 with favorable feelings. Propylene oxide prices continued to rise steadily throughout October and a large portion of November, owing to the jump in propylene input cost.
Influenced by the region's crude oil supply deficit, mostly as a result of reduced refinery operations due to ongoing repairs at Louisiana facilities following landfall by Hurricane Ida, the flow of propylene feed remained scarce in the region's PO facilities. However, prices in the United States remained stable in December, settling at 3465 USD/MT FOB Louisiana, owing to a decline in propylene prices and increased offtakes in global various end-use industries following supply chain renovation.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
PO supply was raised in the first quarter of 2021 to coincide with the completion of turnarounds at several large plants in the northeast Asian region. Additionally, the advent of new manufacturing facilities in China increased overall supply in the Asia-Pacific.
However, because of the Chinese Lunar New Year vacations, the PO market in China stayed subdued, resulting in uneven demand results. Consumption of propylene glycols and polyols increased in the second part of Q1, generating an increase in overall market pricing.
Supply in the Asia Pacific region was sufficient to meet the demand of end-use sectors, however, it varied significantly in several major markets around the region. In China, because of rising inflation rates, the costs of the crucial feedstock propylene remained stable for the majority of Q2, adding to buyer resistance. In June, the FOB Qingdao PO debate was resolved at 1981 USD/MT. In Southeast Asia, the second COVID wave wreaked havoc on downstream markets, reducing demand.
Propylene oxide prices increased considerably in the Asia Pacific region in the third quarter. Propylene prices in the upstream sector were stable in Q3 due to rising inflation rates in China's domestic market. Producers in China received continuous orders from downstream polyether polyol producers, resulting in the price increase. Global shortages of the chemical had a spillover impact on the Indian economy, resulting in a sharp increase in its pricing. The price CFR JNPT (India) was last resolved at 2555 USD/MT in September.
PO availability in the European region was constrained during the first quarter as a result of reduced feedstock production from refineries in response to increased pandemic cases and new lockout limitations. The situation deteriorated further as imports from Asia were hampered by the Chinese Lunar New Year, compounded by the disruption caused by harsh weather conditions in the United States. However, demand from the regional polyol maker remained strong throughout the quarter.
In the European continent, the overall forecast for the PO market continued to improve in Q3 of 2021. Across the region, supply circumstances improved. Due to a shortage of upstream propylene required to manufacture propylene oxide in Q3 2021, its price increased. The construction sector continued to be a strong buyer of PO derivatives throughout the quarter. Propylene Glycol demand remained robust in this quarter as well, owing to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.
Supplies of PO remained scarce in Q1 2021, as major US propylene factories were shut down for planned maintenance in the first half of the year. The tight supply scenario was exacerbated further when many propylene manufacturers stayed down due to serious freezing weather in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States.
However, increased consumption in the downstream polyols and polyurethanes sectors boosted regional demand. Due to rising demand and supply constraints, regional propylene oxide prices more than doubled in March settlements, reaching 2600 USD/MT in mid-March.
As the US chemical industry recovered from the devastation caused by winter storm Uri, improved operations at refineries and PDH units contributed to an improvement in propylene oxide supplies in North America compared to the last quarter. Improved availability, on the other hand, did not affect regional pricing, which continued to rise throughout the quarter.
FOB Louisiana (USA) negotiations concluded in June at 2581 USD/MT, an increase of 356 USD/MT above March levels. The supply-demand situation remained uneven in the second quarter, as seasonal offtakes from downstream polyol makers increased to meet growing building demand. Demand was bolstered further by increased polyol and propylene glycol shipments.
Propylene oxide prices increased in the domestic market in the North American region in Q3 2021. The combination of rising propylene prices and a scarcity of PO inventories resulted in a tightening of the material's supply fundamentals. A similar pattern was observed globally, as PO supply had been severely curtailed since the start of the year. The scarcity of raw materials and the rising production costs have had a twofold effect on the region's production rates.
Additionally, the supply chain was harmed throughout the quarter by limited logistical availability in the region. PO demand was robust in the third quarter, as downstream isocyanates continued to draw higher volumes in response to the demands for polyurethanes in the US marketplace. As a result, propylene oxide prices increased throughout Q3. The worldwide PO market experienced a scarcity as a result of unanticipated turnarounds by large producers such as Dow Chemicals in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Increased demand for hygiene-related items and disposable goods as a result of the pandemic resulted in increased polyethylene and polypropylene demand in South America in 2021. PP imports increased to $226 million in November 2021, up from $203 million in January 2020. The demand and supply balance of propylene oxide was fairly balanced during the year, thanks to imports.
For the Year 2020
As a result of scheduled maintenance and future turnarounds at many manufacturing plants, propylene oxide (PO) spot and contractual sales were regulated by manufacturers in light of the staggering decrease in net supplies. Durable demand for polyols also prompted some integrated PO manufacturers to shift their focus to polyol production instead of simply selling propylene oxide.
As China's furniture and home furnishing sector entered the peak demand season in September following a 16.4% increase in July, demand for polyols increased. Supply constraints increased as numerous PO factories in Shandong faced unexpected environmental inspections, forcing them to cut production rates.
Due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of Nanjing Hongbaoli's hydrogen-peroxide-propylene oxide plant in late August, the overall operating rate of PO plants in China decreased significantly to 77% by the quarter's conclusion. Spot propylene oxide prices in China, which had been hovering around 2350 USD/MT, had risen to 2400 USD/MT by September end.
With a noticeable uptick in downstream demand, domestic manufacturers increased their operational rates in the third quarter. Global supply constraints had a direct impact on the market dynamics of the chemical in Europe, resulting in low inventory levels despite strong demand for downstream polyols.
The strong recovery in polyol demand boosted PO market sentiments in North America. A sudden mismatch in supply and demand caused by constrained production and an unexpected resurgence in downstream demand increased the market's shortfall for its derivatives. Propylene oxide prices in the region quickly increased in September, following the sharp slant in demand trendss. With numerous production facilities on the Gulf coast declared inoperable due to Hurricane Laura fears, the region's total supply tightened, resulting in a significant rise in its average price for the quarter.
South America began its fourth quarter of 2020 with a positive outlook on the polymer market. During the first half of 2020, the region was one of the hardest hit, but it recovered quickly in the second half. The automobile sector in South America increased polypropylene usage in the third quarter. Vehicle production levels in Brazil and Argentina improved since May and stabilized in August. In April, the industry was almost completely shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Propylene Oxide. 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.
In appearance, Propylene Oxide appears as a clear, colourless volatile liquid with an ethereal odour. It has a flashpoint of about -35°F, while its boiling point is about 95°F. Its primary role is its use in the manufacture of polyether polyols, which are further utilised in the production of polyurethane plastics. Its niche applications include its use as a pesticide and a fumigant for the sterilisation of packaged foods and plastic medical instruments. It is also utilised as a fumigant, in making detergents or lubricants, and to make other chemicals.
|Product Name||Propylene Oxide|
|Industrial Uses||Intermediates, Adhesives and sealant chemicals, Flame retardants, Fuels and fuel additives, Lubricant additives, Surface active agents, Adhesive, Automotive care|
|Chemical Formula||CH3CHCH2O or C3H6O|
|Synonyms||75-56-9, 2-Methyloxirane, Epoxypropane, 1,2-Epoxypropane, Propylene epoxide, 1,2-Propylene oxide, Methyl oxirane, 1,2-Epoxypropane, Propene oxide, Methyl ethylene oxide, Methylethylene oxide|
|Molecular Weight||58.080 g/mol|
|Supplier Database||The Dow Chemical Company, BASF SE, Huntsman Corporation, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Royal Dutch Shell Plc.|
|Region/Countries Covered||Asia Pacific: China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, UAE, Israel, Hongkong, Singapore, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Australia, and New Zealand
Europe: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Ireland Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece
North America: United States and Canada
Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru
Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco
|Currency||US$ (Data can also be provided in local currency)|
|Supplier Database Availability||Yes|
|Customization Scope||The report can be customized as per the requirements of the customer|
|Post-Sale Analyst Support||360-degree analyst support after report delivery|
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In order to produce Propylene Oxide via oxidation, propylene is used as a starting material. In this process, propylene is oxidised with the addition of an organic hydroperoxide, which finally produces Propylene Oxide.
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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