Like in 2015, major industry restructuring continued in 2016 for renewable chemicals market as several start-ups folded, some sold their IPs and assets, technology acquisitions have risen, some projects have stalled, several feedstock strategies have changed but interests in synthetic biology being applied to future chemical production have risen. Many of these activities have been driven by continued low crude oil and petrochemical prices, which lingered since late 2014. After more than two years of crude oil prices remaining at around $50/bbl, this has impacted many commodity chemical prices and led to several renewable chemical companies and investors rethinking strategies especially those who have vested R&D in drop-in bio-based chemical alternatives to commodity petrochemicals.
Marketing and developments of bio-based chemicals and materials targeting ethylene and propylene-based derivatives have been hit hard. Contract ethylene in the US sharply drop from an average $1062/ton in 2014 to $673/ton in 2016. The average price for US propylene sharply declined from $1530/ton in 2014 to $732/ton in 2016.
Braskem continues to be the only producer of sugarcane-based polyethylene, while Mitsui abandoned its sugarcane-based ethanol joint venture project with Dow Chemical in Brazil, which aimed to build a future ethanol-based PE manufacturing facility to compete against Braskem’s 200 ktpa Green PE plant in Brazil. Petrochemical companies are now more focused in improving their cost-position in North America utilizing cheap shale gas to produce polymers and chemicals.
A subscription to our Bio-Materials Chemical Business Focus can give you further insights like this on the state of the markets world-wide.
ABOUT TECNON ORBICHEM’S BIOMATERIALS SERVICES Chemical Business Focus
Tecnon OrbiChem’s Bio-Materials and Intermediates Chemical Business Focus is a ground-breaking monthly newsletter service, which was launched in September 2013.
The service offers a detailed and comprehensive coverage of markets, prices and developments for bio-based chemicals and bio-polymers, alongside that for their petrochemical equivalents. It also covers oleochemicals in the same report.
Product areas covered monthly, along with price assessments where available, include:
- ETHYLENE & POLYETHYLENE including feedstock ethanol
- POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE (PET) including paraxylene
- POLYAMIDES & INTERMEDIATES
- SUCCINIC ACID
- FATTY ACIDS
- FATTY ALCOHOLS
- POLYLACTIC ACID (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)
- CELLULOSE FIBRES
Our extensive coverage also includes Industry News as well as Economic News and Agricultural Feedstock News affecting the Bio-Materials markets. In addition, each month, there is a new Chemical Profile, which offers a comprehensive yet compact summary of the market for a particular chemical – in both its petro-chemical and bio-chemical form.
As with all Tecnon OrbiChem Chemical Business Focus reports, subscription to the Bio-Materials service includes online access to price histories, charts and trade data, as well as the reports themselves, which are produced in full colour, can be read on-screen or printed out, and are easily navigated using menus and internal hyperlinks.
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Handbook of Commercial Bio-based Chemicals
Each month in Bio-Materials and Intermediates Chemical Business Focus, in addition to the news items and reviews of developments, there is a Chemical Profile, which offers a comprehensive yet compact summary of the market for a particular chemical – in both its petro-chemical and bio-chemical forms. We have now combined the profiles we have compiled over the past three years into a Handbook, which contains reviews of the research and development that is taking place for the chemicals listed below.
This is an essential compendium of successful and close-to-successful bio-based materials. Tecnon OrbiChem hopes that it will become an essential companion to the researcher looking for concrete examples of successful bio-innovation, and an inspiration to the forward-looking entrepreneurs seeking to help society prepare for a sustainable way of life.
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Doris de Guzman
Senior Consultant – Bio-Materials
Phone: +44 207 924 3955