Cyclohexane is inextricably embedded into the sophisticated chemical, production and commercial chains which run from basic petrochemicals to end-products. Cyclohexane is derived via benzene hydrogenation to produce a cyclohexanol/cyclohexanone mixture, which later acts as a raw material for adipic acid and caprolactam. The latter are in turn converted to nylon 6/6 and nylon 6, respectively, which are intermediate products used to make other chemicals and polyester fibres.
Cyclohexane-involving production pathways
The small amount of cyclohexane is used to manufacture solvents, insecticides, and plasticizers. The dynamic complexity of such chains or networks leads to great susceptibility to fluctuations and volatility in the market behaviour of all elements comprising these networks, including cyclohexane.
In conjunction with this logic, the behaviour of the cyclohexane market is driven by multiple factors of which the benzene prices are of prime significance. For instance, in June 2019, the decrease in the benzene prices in Europe exerted downward pressure on cyclohexane prices, while in the USA the opposite trend was evident when rising benzene costs pushed the cyclohexane prices up. The downward pressure on cyclohexane prices in Europe has been also provided by the lower than expected demand for cyclohexane derivatives.
The current situation on the cyclohexane market may be also affected by the ongoing trade dispute between China and the USA. Among other chemicals, this dispute involves cyclohexane, though the traded amounts between the two countries are not significant. However, this trade war can affect other regional markets and traditional trade flows via multiple feedback interactions and delayed side-effects. The influence of the new tariffs imposed by the two countries in relation to each other has yet to be studied.
Summer months are a traditional time for maintenance turnarounds. For instance, CESPA company carried out a maintenance turnaround at its basic petrochemicals facility in Huelva (Andalusia, Spain). The plant manufactures cyclohexane (capacity is 180,000 mty), which enters the vertically integrated production of chemical products by CESPA. Due to this vertical integration, CESPA efficiently merges petrochemical refining with other chemicals production, thus safeguarding seamless operation at the stage of benzene to cyclohexane conversion. Such vertical integration acts as an efficient measure against traditional cyclohexane market fluctuations.
More information on the global cyclohexane market can be found in the in-demand research report “Cyclohexane (CX): 2019 World Market Outlook and Forecast up to 2028”.