Muted Demand Weighs Over the Asian Chloroform Pricing, India and China Register Significant Price Fall
- 15-Dec-2021 10:16 AM
- Journalist: Yage Kwon
Chloroform prices across Asia have started falling since early December due to limited enquiries from the downstream sectors as the market enters its slow offtake season. Domestic prices in China have slipped to $490/mt levels from $970/mt levels seen in the same period last month. India’s domestic Chloroform prices are hovering around $590-600 per tonne, registering a double-digit fall since the start of December.
The downtrend is a cumulative effect of muted buying activity in the downstream markets and fall in raw material prices. Indian Chloroform producers have reported limited enquiries from downstream R-22 manufacturers. Other key factors in support of the fall in price trend is a sharp decline in both key raw materials-Chlorine and Methanol due to ample supplies in the domestic markets. Fall in upstream energy rates have also supported the fall in market prices.
Since the beginning of the winter season, the market performance of Chloroform has been sluggish. In China, some companies which were on a maintenance turnaround last month have gradually resumed production, and the overall operating rate of the industry has increased while the consumption by the air conditioner market has entered its off-season. The demand outlook from the downstream fine chemicals sector is also bearish and buyers are purchasing the product only on need-to basis.
Chloroform is mainly for manufacturing R-22, which is used for making fluoropolymers, particularly Polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE). Other uses of chloroform include as a solvent in pharmaceutical industry, and adhesives and agrochemicals.
As per ChemAnalyst, Chloroform prices across Asia are expected to decrease further on the back of slowed demand on reduced use of air conditioners and the prices are likely to stay pressured till the upcoming quarter. Falling raw material would further support the downtrend. Market players are likely to witness lower realisation in downstream fluoropolymers space due to seasonal slowdown and better stock availability in the coming weeks.