For the Quarter Ending June 2021
During the second quarter of 2021, the regional Chloroform supply remained tight due to extreme feedstock Chlorine shortage reported by the key regional producers. Downstream industries recovered over Q1 due to the restoration of the industrial infrastructure in the US Gulf coast after remaining largely disrupted due to winter storm in Q1. The resumption of several producing units meant better availability of upstream Methanol. Offtakes from the downstream industries surged amidst the peak demand season from the building and construction sector during the second quarter. FOB Texas Chloroform prices in June were assessed around USD 700 per tonne.
Chloroform pricing trend in the Southeast Asian region showcased mixed results despite sufficient inventories of upstream Methanol and Chlorine. In India, the market was weighed under slow offtakes due to reduced industrial consumption amidst the partial lockdown to contain the spread of second COVID wave in India. Furthermore, weaker Chlorine eased Chloroform prices in the domestic market. Ex-works prices in South India were assessed at USD 500 per tonne in June. While in China, supplies were curtailed as Jinmao Chemicals went for a turnaround in May end, whereas Dongyue Chemicals operated at 60% efficiency and Luxi chemicals operated at 90% efficiency in the same period. Pricing trend of Chloroform in the Chinese domestic market remained firm amidst peak refrigerant demand season.
The supplies of Chloroform in the European region improved as production rates of feedstock chemicals were ramped up. Furthermore, the import market outlook was supported with the better volume offtakes from the downstream refrigerant chemical industries. The overall price trend remained strong due to bolstered demand and strong international pricing. Offtakes from the UK construction sector were strong than anticipated. Due to better demand and stronger margins, price of Chloroform remained firm for a larger part of Q2 in Europe.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The North American regional market was severely impacted during the first quarter of 2021, as the limited availability of the key feedstocks resulted in reduced production of Chloroform across the region. The industrial infrastructure in Texas and nearby Gulf region collapsed as it cannot sustain such low temperature amidst the region hit by the sub-zero temperature due to polar winter storm. Skyrocketing Methanol and Liquid Chlorine prices proportionally impacted the prices of Chloroform. Demand from the downstream refrigerant and pharmaceutical sector surged.
Chloroform market pricing trend in the Asia pacific region rose sharply, due to the tight supplies in the Northeast Asian region due to the decline in enterprise load and the low inventory levels. Moreover, the reduced throughput from the production unit amid the Chinese lunar New Year holidays also contributed to the supply crunch. Jinling plant in Shandong province in China announced 20 days planned turnaround in Mid-March. After the Chinese Lunar New Year Holidays Chloroform prices rose sharply taking cues from the hiked prices of key feedstock Methanol and Liquid Chlorine amidst the surge in demand from the downstream refrigerant due to upcoming peak season.
During the first quarter of 2021, the European Chloroform market remained affected by curtailed supplies due to production disruptions in the Northwest European region. The shortage of key feedstocks occurred as a repercussion of transportation lag and reduced imports from the USA. Olin's plant in Stade, Germany was on a planned turnaround in H1 of the quarter, whereas INOVYN scheduled a planned turnaround in March. Demand outlook surged as the offtakes were ample from the different downstream segments.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Chloroform supply across Asia lengthened by the end of the Q3 as Chinese inventories took a higher side by the end of Q2, thereby affecting the producers to manage the production levels. Price discussions of Chloroform in Northeast Asia gradually picked up after observing prolonged stagnancy in the past few months. Supply seemed to cope with the market expectations across Asia. Sources mentioned that firming feedstock costs were supporting the price hikes and the trend would be traced by other producers in the coming months. Aligning with the regional trend, CFR India chloroform prices were assessed around USD 385 per ton levels in end-September.
Chloroform supply gained the lost uptrend in Q3 2020. Production margins improved as KEM ONE’s Methylene Chloride plant at Lavera, France restarted after maintenance turnaround in Q2. Demand for Chloroform as a solvent from the pharmaceutical industries took a bullish trend. Players remained anxious after the lockdowns in some European countries extended amid fears of second coronavirus wave.