Propylene Oxide in Asia
PUdaily, Shanghai– Previously, we wrote an article about the peak price for PO and polyether polyols in 2017. The article mentioned that last August saw a peak price for polyether polyols and propylene oxide. Next, PUdaily will present a review of the several peak prices from 2014 to now.
Take the price in bulk price and deal for slab polyols in east China as an example. The highest price in the last 4 years was seen in October 2016, which stood at 16,100 RMB/ton.
The second highest price was seen in January 2014, which stood at 15,750 RMB/ton, a drop of 350 RMB/ton from the highest price.
The third highest price was seen in October 2014, which stood at 15,200 RMB/ton, a drop of 550 RMB/ton from the second highest price.
The fourth highest price was seen in August 2017, which stood at 14,500 RMB/ton, a drop of 700 RMB/ton from the third highest price.
Now, the price for east China-originated slab polyols reaches 14,800-15,000 RMB/ton, taking over the top price in August 2017 as the fourth highest price.
Unable to withstand the high pressure placed by increasing cost of raw materials, some downstream sponge manufacturers recently issued notice about price increase:
The price of raw materials has been rising recently, and it seems that the trend will continue into the future. To ensure that we will continue to provide you with stable and good services as well as quality products, and maintain our long-term and friendly partnership, we decide to increase the sponge price by 3 yuan/kg from that on December 31, 2017. The new price will be effective on January 1, 2018.
According to PUdaily, the cause of current high price is that the short supply by a major polyether polyols manufacturer in south China led to a shortage of goods experienced by traders, which pushed up the offer and finally affected Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai. In addition, recently it has been frequently heard that PO facilities in Shandong are undergoing overhaul or will do that, which helped push up the price for propylene oxide and polyether. Meanwhile, news came that facilities of a major polyether polyols manufacturer in south China malfunctioned, which further boosted the price.
As the Spring Festival is coming, news about the maintenance of PO and polyether polyols is still frequently heard. Moreover, it is reported that facilities of many foreign manufacturers will also undergo overhaul in the first half of 2018. Therefore, it is hard for the price to fall before the Spring Festival. But it is also foreseeable that further rise in the price can hardly be seen as downstream manufacturers are less likely to offer higher price.