Low Demand for Ethanolamines Leads to Price Cuts in China

Published Date : Jun 05, 2015

Low demand, excess supply, and decreasing cost of feedstock ethylene oxide (EO) are likely to further reduce the prices of ethanolamines in China. With the demand in the domestic market remaining sluggish, the prices of diethanolamines (DEA) have witnessed the maximum lossets. According to the reports, the domestic prices of DEA dropped by 8.9% from the previous week to 9,200-10,200 yuan per ton. The market participants have complained that with the prices of EO falling sharply coupled with the dismal demand, the end-users are not procuring much. The poor demand for DEA can be attributed to the seasonal downturn in the consumption of glyphosate, which is used as an herbicide in South America before the onset of winter in the southern hemisphere. South America is one of the largest markets for the glyphosate manufacturers in China.

Among the amine products, DEA prices have been badly hit, owing to the excess supply after BASF-YPC Co Ltd restarted its plant located at Nanjing, which produces 76,000 tons of ethanolamines per year. The prices of monoethanolamines (MEA) in domestic market decreased by 5.4% this week and that of triethanolamines (TEA) decreased by 4.4%. China has been witnessing a sluggish growth in its economy and this has badly hit the construction and cement industry which is one of the major user segments of TEA. The annual cement production in China is expected to drop by 45% this year, which will directly hit the TEA usage in the industry. The EO producers in China have started cutting back production amid increasing raw material prices.