Epichlorohydrin (ECH) Price Trends:
A Market Analysis
“Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is a chemical intermediate which, in its purest form, appears as a clear, colourless liquid that is highly reactive. It is quite versatile and readily undergoes various chemical reactions with several kinds of compounds.”
The Demand of ECH is being fueled by the expanding applications of epoxy resins in building, transportation, aerospace, and other crucial sectors. The need for epichlorohydrin will be fueled in part by the continuing expenditures in wastewater treatment plants and the related need for water treatment chemicals. Another factor contributing to the market’s rapid expansion is the rising demand for rubber made from epichlorohydrin in the automobile industry.
During the time between 2022 and 2029, the global epichlorohydrin market is predicted to grow from its 2021 valuation of USD 2.73 billion to a peak of USD 4.52 billion. The ECH Market is growing at a CAGR of >5% over the next five years.
Applications Impacting The Price of ECH
Its various applications have been described as follows:
1. Epoxy Resins
Epichlorohydrin is mainly used for making epoxy resins. They offer benefits like corrosion resistance, hardness, adhesion, and solvent and chemical resistance. Other derivatives can be derived using epichlorohydrin.
2. Textile Industry
In the textile industry, epichlorohydrin finds application for modifying wool’s carboxyl groups that results in a product with longer and improved resistance to moths. It also finds use for preparing protein-modified, woollike fibres that contain an affinity for acid dyes that are resistant to both mould and insects. In addition, it is used to make dyeable polypropylene fibres and for dyeing polyacrylonitrile, polyvinyl alcohol, polyolefin, polyvinyl chloride, and other fibres. It also helps impart wrinkle resistance in preparing anti-static agents and textile sizings. Epichlorohydrin’s derivatives have usage as softening, levelling, dispersion, emulsifying and washing agents.
3. Printing Industry
The polyamides modified with epichlorohydrin or by using the by-product of epichlorohydrin and an alkylene amine are used to make products such as Inks, Papers, and Dyes Wet-strength paper sizing. The polyhydroxy compounds and esters of epichlorohydrin are used to produce special printing inks and textile print pastes. These products result in the production of flexible films chemically inert to caustic soda and other chemical solutions. Epichlorohydrin adducts have been used as paper coatings, anti-static agents, filler retention aids, and flocculants.
4. In Surfactant
Ion Exchange Resins Epichlorohydrin is used in the production of anion- and cation-exchange resins. It is sued to make Surface Active Agents. It also finds application in producing plasticizers, vinyl polymer plasticizers, polyurethanes plasticizers, and solvents for food and flavouring. It also makes agricultural products used in insecticides, fungicides, and bactericides. Other uses of the product include asphalt improvers, electrical insulation for wire, pharmaceuticals, waterproofing compounds, corrosion inhibitors, lubricant additives, photographic film bases, fire-retardant urethanes, liners for polyethylene bottles, petroleum production aids, hair conditioning rinses, rubber latex coagulation aids, linoleum and linoleum cement and zinc electroplating compounds.
Epichlorohydrin (ECH) Price Trends Analysis with Regional Segmentation
Recently, the market for epichlorohydrin kept declining in the Asian region. In India, adequate amounts of the commodity in inventories were unsold, and suppliers had no option but to declare offers to grow their sales because production companies of textiles and cosmetics displayed just a passing interest in it. Taking China into account, the product’s market dipped because of declining demand from the downstream industries, which were pushed to lower their rates of production as a consequence of the re-implementation of Covid – 19 curbs. Because of similar circumstances, upstream businesses were required to limit their production activities as well.
In Europe, the epichlorohydrin market witnessed further expansion. As per market players, consumers’ worries regarding the growing prices of energy and natural gas because of the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine were influencing the demand. Thus, this product was witnessing reduced demand from downstream epoxy resin manufacturers. The product market in Germany developed because of the commodity’s restricted availability in warehouses and inventories as an outcome of upstream companies’ average production activities. The exports were also adversely impacted due to the same factor.
The market for epichlorohydrin in the North American region witnessed an additional expansion, just like the markets in Europe. According to market players, the downstream textiles and cosmetics producers displayed an average interest in the commodity for their production needs. In addition, the demand for this product lowered for the epoxy resin manufacturers. There was tight availability of the commodity in warehouses and inventories because of reduced European imports and moderate production activities in upstream companies due to moderate downstream demand. Yet, the market was witnessing an upward movement.
The Prominent Players in ECH Market
1. Solvay S.A
Chemicals Company- Solvay SA (Solvay) is a chemical manufacturing company that produces and distributes specialty polymers, chemical materials and essential chemicals etc. It caters to industries including natural resources & environment, building & construction, healthcare, aeronautics & automotive, electrical & electronics, agrochemical, food, consumer goods, industrial applications and other sectors. Special chemicals are used by the company that are made of eco-friendly materials to improve the quality and performance of the product.
2. Zachem S.A
This company carries out the production and distribution of organic colourants, optical bleaching agents, and organic and inorganic pigments. These dyes and pigments are made in a range of colours and are matched the customer’s specific requirements. It supports customers by applying its products in creating adequate products for industries like construction, household, textile, paint and varnish, chemistry, tannery, plastic, paper, and other industries.
3. Samsung Fine Chemicals ltd.
This company is the most significant manufacturer of plastic and PE-related products like sanitary bags, aprons, zipper bags, sanitary gloves, rollbacks, and kimbag that can be seen in households and make everyday life easier. It has been a leader in the industry because of its employment stability and solid operation.
4. Dow Chemicals ltd.
The American manufacturer of chemicals and plastics, Dow Chemical Company, is among the leading suppliers of chemicals, plastics, synthetic fibres, and agricultural products in the world.
5. Sumitomo Chemicals ltd.
Sumitomo Chemical India Ltd. (SCIL) manufactures and imports, and markets products for Grain Fumigation, Bio Pesticides, Crop Protection, Environmental Health, Rodent Control, and Professional Pest control Feed Additives. The product range contains conventional chemistry sourced from the parent company, Sumitomo Chemical Company and biological products sourced from Valent Biosciences LLC, a USA-based subsidiary. They also make several technical-grade pesticides in their state-of-the-art manufacturing plants with an excellent R&D facility.
6. Aditya Birla Chemicals ltd.
Aditya Birla Chemicals, which is an Aditya Birla Group, is a top chemical business of global repute and reach which has a legacy in globalizing chemicals. It is a leading producer of chlorine derivative and caustic soda chemicals, an epoxy Resin player in the top two Sulphites globally, and the top 5 in Food Phosphates globally.
The price trends for Epichlorohydrin have been influenced by a range of factors, including changes in supply and demand dynamics, fluctuations in raw material costs, and evolving regulatory frameworks. Over the past few years, the industry has witnessed both ups and downs in prices, with significant volatility observed at times. However, with growing demand for ECH in various end-use applications, such as epoxy resins and water treatment chemicals, and increasing efforts towards sustainable production, the future of the Epichlorohydrin market looks promising, albeit with some challenges along the way.