Quarterly Update on Global Bisphenol A (BPA) Market
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Winter storm across USA disrupted the overall production of Bisphenol A, as most of petrochemical plants were idled due to unfavourable operating conditions. Hexion’s Deer Park Texas BPA plant faced force majeure as the weather conditions were not suitable to run the plant. This shut down affected the supply of BPA across the region, where the demand was running high from downstream epoxy resin and polycarbonate sector. Tight feedstock availability dented the PC production levels, forcing several players to raise their regional offers.
The Asian BPA market reported firm demand from the downstream sector amid persistent supply constraints during Q1 2021. In the Chinese market, imports were high due to firm demand from downstream Polycarbonate and Epoxy resin producers, although the supply remained insufficient, that supported the price uptrend. Meanwhile in the Indian market, downstream epoxy resin market was reaching its record high prices due to high demand and low supply of BPA. Bisphenol A prices in both the countries rose effectively within the quarter and were assessed at USD 1680/MT FOB China and USD 1256.26/MT CFR India during March 2021.
The European BPA market reported firm demand from the downstream sectors, although the supply remained critically low, which supported the prices effectively. Several plants across the region remained offline for different reasons, like Hexion’s Netherland plant faced force majeure due to technical glitch, which halted the regional supply. Meanwhile, buying activity remained strong, supported by better offtakes downstream Epoxy and Polycarbonate producers. On the other side Suez Canal blockage during March affected the supply of the region and provided temporary boost to the product prices.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
The Asian Bisphenol A (BPA) markets registered strong demand growth in Q3 2020, with growing demand from the downstream Polycarbonate resins sector, driven by sharp uptick in the automotive and transportation sector which had been contributing to improved margins. Tight regional supply due to maintenance turnarounds in China further pushed the export prices of product during the quarter. It is being anticipated that Asian BPA supplies could stay tight for quite a while during Q4 2020 on production constraints, with consumers fearing that prices may not relax soon. Korea’s Kumho P&B Chemicals is slated to remain shut during the October month, further heightening the consumer worries.
European BPA producers reported muted third quarter as surging coronavirus cases knocked down the possibility of quick revival in the PC industry. Contrary to the Asian market, the European BPA industry remained well supplied with players continuously striving to improve margins by announcing small price increases in early September and Q4 negotiations. Resilient polycarbonate demand from the global medical equipment remained a positive highlight while sectors like automotive and transportation reported dull quarterly results.
Bisphenol A demand in North America regained momentum after a strong uptick in demand was observed from the major end-markets automotive, construction and home-appliances sector following a weak second quarter due to the pandemic. With trading picking up speed prior to the new-year holidays and festive season, buyers and importers are busy in restocking inventories at this time. Lengthy supply however remained pressuring the US BPA producers who reported prices turning flat August onwards despite gradually improving demand.