2014 Review

The year 2015 started with raw materials falling further and is making a much different entry as 2014 did. Last year was a challenging year for the plasticizer industry. Raw material prices rose sharply last year and the competitve situation did not allow for the plasitcizer producers to move prices upwards as much as the raw materials did require. Hence, all the plasticizer suppliers did see significant margin reduction. For one product, DOTP, at least the total market did grow significantly. Where the total EU market for DOTP was only 10kt in 2009, the marketsize is estimated between 100 and 150kt end of 2014.
Also in the USA DOTP did grow significantly. DINP was listed to Californian’ Act 65.
Although this is not a ban at all, it did create a lot of uncertainty and made customers move to DOTP. Actually Act 65 is “only” a right to know law, it is not a restriction, not even close. Still we saw DOTP growing in both USA and Asia because of all the confusion it created.
Also in 2014 the Danish EPA presented a list with alternatives for DOP in medical applications. Numerous plasticizers where reviewed like DOTP, TOTM and DOA. The full Report can be found in the “plasticizer news” section on this website.
One of the positive things in 2014 was that demand seemed to be solid. Prices did fluctuate but it was clearly seen that customers felt confident enough to place orders well in advance. This was a big improvement compared to 2013 and shows actually how solid the underlying demand is. This positive development is also seen in the early days of 2015. Even with prices falling significantly, customers do order well in advance and there is no panicking of having too high inventories. This can only be understood when the underlying demand is truyl solid. And that should make sure we at least can have a positive feeling about the start of 2015!

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