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Global Epichlorohydrin Prices See Modest Growth Amidst Fluctuating Prices and Cautious Sentiment
Global Epichlorohydrin Prices See Modest Growth Amidst Fluctuating Prices and Cautious Sentiment

Global Epichlorohydrin Prices See Modest Growth Amidst Fluctuating Prices and Cautious Sentiment

  • 25-Sep-2023 2:30 PM
  • Journalist: Harold Finch

During the first half of September 2023, the Epichlorohydrin (ECH) market experienced a modest 2% growth, accompanied by notable fluctuations in feedstock prices and cautious industry sentiment. In the United States, ECH prices mirrored the international market's 2% increase during the first half of September 2023. The U.S. heavily relies on imports of ECH from China, where rising prices were driven by tightening supplies of essential feedstock, including propylene and upstream crude oil. Certain Chinese enterprises adeptly managed their inventories, maintaining a firm selling mentality and avoiding selling at lower prices. However, the broader market sentiment in the U.S. remained cautious, with many downstream players adopting a wait-and-see approach, anticipating potential supply increases. This cautious approach influenced pricing dynamics in the U.S. market.

In contrast to the global trend, the German ECH market witnessed a bearish trend in August 2023. This decline in ECH prices was largely attributed to decreased demand from the construction sector. The Eurozone construction sector Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) decreased slightly from 43.5 in July to 43.4 in August. Several factors contributed to this downturn, including high interest rates and rapidly rising building costs, which dampened enthusiasm for new construction projects across Europe.

The Chinese ECH market experienced prices holding steady at USD 11,701 per metric ton by the week ending September 22. This stability was attributed to a decline in the price of raw material glycerol and a stable yet weak market for propylene. Producers faced significant cost pressure due to an upward trend in the price of raw material propylene, while glycerine prices showed a decline. This situation created a challenging environment for ECH manufacturers. Notably, several enterprises managed to maintain comfortable inventory levels, reducing the urgency to sell goods at lower prices.

Consequently, these producers maintained a relatively firm selling mentality. However, the overall market sentiment remained cautious, with most downstream players adopting a wait-and-see approach in anticipation of potential supply increases. This cautious sentiment characterized negotiations in the Chinese ECH market, resulting in a stagnant high-end transaction atmosphere.

In summary, the global ECH market experienced modest growth during the first half of September 2023, with fluctuations in feedstock prices and cautious industry sentiment influencing pricing dynamics. While the Chinese market remained somewhat stagnant, the U.S. market followed the international trend, and Germany's market faced challenges related to the construction sector's demand.

According to ChemAnalyst, the price of ECH may increase globally in the second half of 2023, as the price of feedstock Propylene is anticipated to increase due to the tight supply of upstream Crude Oil in the international market.

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