Extreme shortage of feedstock Acetone, skyrocketed the price of IPA in China & USA in Q1 2021 | ChemAnalyst

Posted June 29, 2021 by chemanalyst

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA), also known as Isopropanol, is a clear, colorless liquid, possessing an alcoholic odor.

Market Overview

Quarterly Update on Global Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) Market

For the Quarter Ending March 2021

North America

Extreme cold weather across the Gulf of US impacted several IPA plants of the region, however the demand from domestic market remained low. The overall demand for IPA was comparatively higher in the previous quarter but after subsequent fall in COVID 19 cases across the region, demand for IPA from sanitisers manufacturers reduced effectively. Despite of low demand for IPA prices were railing up due to huge rise in feedstock Acetone prices, which rose by around 20.6% and settled at USD 2425 per MT FOB Texas in March.


In the Asian Market, demand for IPA remained mixed, where some countries had a sufficient inventories level to satisfy the overall demand others struggled to maintain the supply activities across their country. Like in China, demand for IPA from sanitisers manufacturers was sturdy, but the inventories level remained low which created an extreme shortage of IPA in the country. In addition, extreme shortage of feedstock Acetone also effectively impacted the production in the China IPA market. During the quarter, average IPA prices in China rose by 22.29%, while in India it rose by 4.05% between January and March.


During Q1 2021, exports from Asia to Europe reduced effectively that tightened the supply of IPA in Europe. Meanwhile the demand remained consistent from sanitisers manufactures of the region, especially in second half of the quarter. Container shortage across Asia-Europe trade route, further reduced the feedstock availability across the region which pushed the prices to seek an upward trend. It is also anticipated that the supply of feedstock Acetone might improve from the US, which will improve the current IPA market condition in the upcoming quarters.

Market Overview: https://www.chemanalyst.com/Pricing-data/isopropyl-alcohol-31

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA), also known as Isopropanol, is a clear, colorless liquid, possessing an alcoholic odor. It is a medium evaporating low-cost solvent, possessing complete miscibility with most solvents. Based on applications, IPA has several grades specially selected on the basis of purity and odor. It has proven microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-infectant properties making it suitable to be used in the cosmetics and toiletries. It is also widely used as a low-cost solvent in many industries such as pharmaceuticals, coatings and inks, specialty chemicals and as an extractant. Some important chemical derivatives manufactured from IPA include methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), isopropylamines and isopropyl esters. IPA can be produced either from Propylene, as a by-product from the operations of a naphtha cracker, from acetone, or as a by-product from producing phenol. Two main routes are used to produce IPA commercially. The traditional method involves indirect hydration of refinery-grade propylene (RGP) using sulfuric acid to form isopropyl sulfate, which is then hydrolyzed with steam to form sulfuric acid and IPA. Another route is the direct hydration of chemical grade (90-99%) Propylene, without using sulfuric acid. Small amount of IPA is also produced by the hydrogenation of Acetone in aqueous medium. However, this process is only suitable where excess Acetone is available.

Product Specific Details

CAS No.: 67-63-0; HS Code: 29051220; Grades: Industrial/Technical grade, Pharma Grade; Packaging Size: Tank/Drum; Incoterms: CFR, FOB, Ex-Works, Bulk Contracted, Spot

Countries Covered:

APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore,
Europe – Germany, France, Belgium
America – USA, Brazil
MEA – Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa

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Related Report:

Global Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) Market Analysis Plant Capacity, Production, Operating Efficiency, Technology, Demand & Supply, End User Industries, Distribution Channel, Regional Demand, 2015-2030

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Last Updated June 29, 2021