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Global Glycerin Market Update

April, 2021

By: Petrina Ng, Americas Glycerin Product Manager, Candy Lim, Asia Glycerin Product Manager, and Julio Dominguez, Director, Americas OleoChemical Products

The global pandemic heightened consumer and public concern on health and safety. P&G Chemicals is proud to introduce SuperolTM K+ Glycerin in response to customer requests for Glycerin tailored to meet the stringent requirements of global pharmaceutical excipients. SuperolTM K+ complies with key international pharmacopeia (USP, EP) quality standards and meets China, Japan, India and British pharmacopeia Glycerin monograph when tested. Additionally, SuperolTM K+ offers enhanced product stability with 3 years shelf life, which is up to 2 times the industry standard. To learn more about SuperolTM K+ as well as all of P&G Chemicals Glycerin products, please reach out to your Account Executive.

As we step into a more optimistic 2021, the global Glycerin marketplace continues to see robust demand plagued by logistics challenges and supply uncertainty:

Demand for Glycerin remains robust across various applications – We are seeing broad-based demand recovery. As the Asian buyers return from their Lunar New Year break, their purchases indicate a bullish marketplace demand. After being dormant for a few months, industrial applications such as Polyurethanes, Epichlorohydrin, and Anti-Freeze are returning, all resulting in increased Glycerin demand. In the USA, unforeseen winter storms in the gulf coast region significantly reduced Propylene based Propylene Glycol (PG) production. To satisfy increased PG demand, Glycerin-based PG producers switched output from Glycerin to downstream PG as the latter commanded a higher premium. In turn, this reduced Glycerin supply availability in the USA market.

Logistics, Logistics, Logistics – Global logistics remain challenged, with increasingly limited isotainer and cargo space availability disrupting the flow of products around the globe. This strain on global supply chains resulted in import vessel delays, shift bookings, and higher freight rates. All this before the recent Suez Canal blockage! This impact is critically evident in the dramatic decrease in Glycerin imports into the USA as seen in the recent reports.

Glycerin supply from the biodiesel sector looks to be uncertain – Biodiesel producers are experiencing significant pressure on margins across the globe. Supply is challenged by ongoing elevated feedstock (palm, rapeseed, and soybean oil) costs and lower production during winter months. In addition, the pandemic reduced travel, which in turn diminished fuel demand. Furthermore, Renewable Diesel (HVO), which does not produce Glycerin as co-product, continues to be a more favorable investment compared to conventional biodiesel. With approximately 70% of global crude Glycerin generated as a conventional biodiesel co-product, growth in HVO may impact the global Glycerin marketplace. P&G Chemicals continues to closely monitor this change to avoid supply disruptions to our customers.