US BD heads for 33-cent/lb January settlement

05 January 2009 20:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US butadiene (BD) contracts for January were mostly settled at 33 cents/lb ($728/tonne, €524/tonne), down by 17 cents/lb from December, market sources said on Monday.

The drop came amid continued weak demand and falling BD prices in both Europe and Asia, one buyer said.

US producers initially nominated January reductions of 10 and 12 cents/lb in mid-December, but those initiatives were followed by a minus 17-cent/lb nomination during the holidays, according to sources.

BD contracts usually settle at the lowest price proposed by the four main US producers.

Two producers have agreed to match the 17-cent/lb reduction, sources said. Confirmation from the third BD supplier was not available on Monday.

US BD contracts have plummeted by more than 70% since peaking at $1.22/lb in October.

BD producers include ExxonMobil, Equistar, Shell and Texas Petrochemical. Buyers include Invista, Goodyear and Firestone.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: William Lemos
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