Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Decreasing Monochloromethane Price Compresses Glyphosate Profit

It's often said by professionals that glyphosate technical production adopting glycine route has the strongest competitiveness among the three routes (glycine, DEA, IDAN) because of its cost advantage, attributed to the recovery of monochloromethane, the by-product. However, the decreasing price of monochloromethane has compressed the profit margin of glyphosate technical adopting glycine route, according to CCM International’s April Issue of Glyphsoate China Monthly Report.

In April 2012, the ex-works price of monochloromethane has descended to USD350/t (RMB2,200/t), down 18.5% over March 2012. Compared with that in Oct. 2011, monochloromethane price in April 2012 decreased by 46.3%. In fact, monochloromethane price has witnessed a sharp decline in the past half year (from Q3 2011 to Q1 2012). The average ex-works price of monochloromethane in the first three quarters of 2011 is over USD800/t (RMB5,000/t).

"The stagnant demand in downstream industry has led to price downturn of monochloromethane in the past half year, and the sale of monochloromethane has become a problematic," a market insider said.
The main end use of monochloromethane is organic silicon. Now the low operating rate of organic silicon, resulting from the overcapacity and competition from overseas product, has led to the stagnant monochloromethane demand and then price downtrend.
The average recovery rate is about 500kg by-product monochloromethane when producing one tonne of glyphosate technical, and the recovery cost of monochloromethane is about USD80/t (RMB500/t). Thus, the gross profit from monochloromethane recovery and sales is about USD95/t (RMB600/t) from glyphosate technical production in April 2012, compared with more than USD160/t (RMB1,000/t) from that in H1 2011.

While other glyphosate technical manufacturers sell out monochloromethane, Zhejiang Wynca Chemicals Industry Group Co., Ltd. (Zhejiang Wynca) developed combined production technologies of glyphosate and organic silicon, and its monochloromethane is for private use. Coupled with the higher recovery rate, Zhejiang Wynca could gain more value in monochloromethane recovery. Some other glyphosate manufacturers, such as Sichuan Fuhua Tongda Agro-chemical Technology Co., Ltd., Hubei Xingfa Group (its subsidiary Hubei Taisheng Chemical are operating 40,000t/a glyphosate capacity) plans to develop downstream industry of monochloromethane.

Monochloromethane is mainly generated at hydrolysis process of glyphosate synthesis. The recovery process of monochloromethane includes four steps: water scrubbing, alkaline washing, drying and condensation.

Source: Glyphsoate China Monthly Report 1204

Content of Glyphsoate China Monthly Report 1204:
Anhui Huaxing saved from ST marking
Nantong Jiangshan:Technology improvement ensures sustainable development
Chaotic market of glyphosate 41% IPA
China bans mixed glyphosate formulation with glyphosate content lower than 30%
Treated mother liquid used to produce 30% glyphosate SL
Decreasing monochloromethane price compresses glyphosate profit
China's glyphosate demand to grow at CAGR of 9.5% in 2012-2016
Mixed formulation containing glyphosate salt and fomesafen salt
Glyphosate price slightly decreases in April 2012
Glyphosate export volume in Feb. 2012 increases by 3.1% MoM

Glyphosate China Monthly Report, a monthly publication issued by CCM International on 20th of every month, will keep track of latest dynamics, hotspots and competitiveness analysis, and forecasts on market trends of China’s glyphosate industry.

About CCM
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For more information, please visit http://www.cnchemicals.com.
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