Published May 2015
Total consumption of MIBK grew at an average annual rate of almost 7% during 2011–14, driven by significant growth in China. MIBK is used primarily in solvent applications (mainly for surface coatings). It is also used for rubber antiozonants and acetylenic surfactants.
MIBC’s major application is in the manufacture of lube oil additives, followed by its use as the principal flotation frother in treating copper and other ores. Surface coatings make up a minor portion of MIBC consumption. World MIBC statistics are difficult to estimate, but overall, MIBC will experience positive growth in lube oil applications and as a flotation frother (especially in actively mined regions). Consumption of MIBC worldwide is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 2.5-3.0% during 2014-19.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of MIBK:
Consumption of MIBK is expected to stay relatively flat in the developed regions. Its use in rubber antiozonants has grown over the last three years (from approximately 25% of total MIBK consumption in 2011 to 32% in 2014 in the major consuming countries/regions), driven by increased tire production Asia, particularly China. MIBK was subject to further restrictions on 28 March 2014, when the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added it to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause reproductive toxicity, but this has not yet had a major impact on its consumption.
MIBK and MIBC prices are significantly affected by feedstock costs (acetone and its raw material propylene) and the price of natural gas (the production of MIBK/MIBC is very energy intensive). Stronger demand and higher feedstock costs helped boost prices for MIBK and MIBC throughout 2010 and 2011 after the economic downturn. Prices in some regions have since decreased with lower raw material prices and weak demand.