Will DOP price hikes and supply issues mean the end for DOP in EU?

DOP prices are already for months at an unhealthy low level. Everybody who can do the math can see that nobody is making money with producing and selling DOP.

On the other hand we have the higher phthalates and off course the phthalate free alternatives which are trying to gain market share aggressively.

One of the main reasons that DOP still has (significant) sales in EU is the price gap between alternatives.

In medical applications TOTM is a known and widely used alternative for DOP. The price difference can be up to 50% and this is obviously causing some customers to wait as long as possible to switch to TOTM. At the moment the low price of DOP is, at least in medical applications, one of the biggest reasons why customers are not switching.

 With the recent hikes in raw material costs even the DOP suppliers had to do something. Significant price increases for DOP were announced early February. The gap between DOP and alternatives is decreasing and will trigger further shift to alternatives. 

More important is the supply side of things. Perstorp stepped out of DOP and is only selling the remaining stock. The biggest remaining integrated supplier and only one in Western Europe is now Arkema….and Arkema did declare a force majeure….not being able to deliver any DOP…

Prices will without a doubt increase further…but more important is if enough DOP can be made available to serve current demand. If not, customers will be forced to make the switch to alternatives and perhaps will not switch back again…

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