Glycerol price February 2024 and outlook (see chart below)

  • North America:US$1.07/KG, -0.9% down
  • Europe:US$1.19/KG, -2.5% down
  • Northeast Asia:US$0.57/KG, unchanged
  • Southeast Asia:US$0.96/KG, -1% down
  • South America:US$0.6/KG, unchanged
The chart below summarizes Glycerol price trend per region, as well as the outlook. It takes a moment to load.

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Glycerol price index

This post is a summary of the global glycerol price developments. The price developments of global glycerol are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Glycerol price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for global glycerol prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of global glycerol prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of glycerol
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of global glycerol prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the glycerol market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further sources of information on the Glycerol price chart

 

What is Glycerol

Glycerol is a colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations and food industry as a humectant, solvent, and sweetener. It is a trihydric alcohol with three hydroxyl groups and is a component of many lipids, including triglycerides and phospholipids.

 

How is glycerol produced

Glycerol is produced from the hydrolysis of fats and oils, which are broken down into their component fatty acids and glycerol. The process of glycerol production from fats and oils is known as saponification and can be achieved through chemical or biological methods.

In chemical saponification, an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, is added to the fats or oils, causing the ester bonds to break down and form soap and glycerol.

In biological saponification, fats and oils are hydrolyzed by lipases, which are enzymes found in certain bacteria and animals, including humans. This process is commonly used in the production of biodiesel.

Glycerol can also be produced through the propylene oxide method, which involves the reaction of propylene with chlorine to form propylene chlorohydrin, which is then hydrolyzed to form glycerol.

 

What is glycerol used for

Glycerol has a variety of uses, including:

Food industry

Glycerol is used as a sweetener and humectant in the food industry. It helps to retain moisture in baked goods and also adds a smooth texture to food products.

Pharmaceuticals

Glycerol is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry as a component of many medications, such as cough syrups and liquid preparations. It is also used as a solvent for active ingredients in many medications.

Personal care

Glycerol is used in personal care products, such as soaps, creams, and lotions, as a moisturizing agent.

Tobacco Industry

Glycerol is used as a component in the production of e-cigarettes, providing a smooth and silky texture to the smoke.

Industrial

Glycerol is used as a component in the production of dynamite, as a plasticizer for polyvinyl acetate, and as an ingredient in antifreeze.

Biological Applications

Glycerol is used in the preservation of biological samples, such as tissue and cells, due to its ability to reduce freezing damage.

Energy Production

Glycerol can be fermented to produce 1,3-propanediol, which can be converted into biofuels and bioplastics.

 

What types of glycerol are there

There are two main types of glycerol: technical grade glycerol and pharmaceutical grade glycerol.

Technical grade glycerol

This type of glycerol is produced from the saponification of fats and oils and is commonly used in the production of soaps, explosives, and other industrial products. It has a lower level of purity and may contain impurities, such as salts, fatty acids, and soap.

Pharmaceutical grade glycerol

This type of glycerol is produced through the refinement of technical grade glycerol and is intended for use in the pharmaceutical industry. It has a higher level of purity and is free from impurities that could be harmful to humans.

In addition to these two main types, there are also food-grade glycerol and cosmetic-grade glycerol, which are used in the food and personal care industries, respectively. These grades have even higher levels of purity and are free from impurities that could be harmful to humans.

 

Which countries produce the most glycerol

The production of glycerol is a global industry and is produced by many countries around the world. Some of the largest producers of glycerol include:

United States

The US is one of the largest producers of glycerol and has a well-established industry for the production of glycerol from both natural and synthetic sources.

Germany

Germany is also a major producer of glycerol and has a strong pharmaceutical industry that uses glycerol as a key ingredient in many medications.

China

China is the largest producer of glycerol in Asia and has a rapidly growing industry for the production of glycerol from both natural and synthetic sources.

Brazil

Brazil is a major producer of glycerol in South America and has a growing industry for the production of glycerol from natural sources.

India

India is also a growing producer of glycerol and has a well-established industry for the production of glycerol from both natural and synthetic sources.

These countries and others collectively produce a significant amount of glycerol and help to meet the global demand for this versatile substance.

 

How big is the glycerol market

The glycerol market is a significant and growing industry, driven by the increasing demand for glycerol in a wide range of applications, including food, pharmaceuticals, personal care, and industrial uses. According to recent market reports, the global glycerol market was valued at approximately USD 2.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% between 2021 and 2028.

Factors driving the growth of the glycerol market include the increasing demand for glycerol in the food and pharmaceutical industries, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping products, and the increasing use of glycerol as a feedstock in the production of biofuels and bioplastics.

However, factors such as fluctuating raw material prices, fluctuations in demand, and increasing competition are expected to pose challenges to the growth of the glycerol market. Nevertheless, the increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly products is expected to provide new opportunities for the growth of the glycerol market in the coming years.

According to https://oec.world/ :Glycerol are the world’s 733rd most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Glycerol were Indonesia ($461M), Germany ($270M), Malaysia ($243M), Netherlands ($163M), and Brazil ($131M).

In 2020, the top importers of Glycerol were China ($423M), United States ($118M), Netherlands ($117M), Germany ($90.2M), and Japan ($77.2M).

 

Further information on Glycerol

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