02 March 2011 19:50 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) supply will remain tight for the foreseeable future because olefins plants will crack more ethane, limiting the output of crude C4, an industry executive said on Wednesday.
US ethane feedstock usage will continue to grow, Craig Barry, Dow Chemical’s co-monomer and global C4s business director, predicted during a presentation at the 6th ICIS World Olefins Conference in Brussels, Belgium.
Ethane presently accounts for around 65% of US cracker feedstocks, but the Dow executive estimated that number would rise to as much as 70% by 2015.
Crude C4, from which BD is extracted, is produced during the naphtha cracking process.
Naphtha now accounts for around 15% of US cracker feed slates, according to an industry survey.
US BD contracts in March settled at $1.04/lb ($2,293/tonne, €1,674/tonne), up by 6% from February on the back of limited US supply and rising BD prices in Asia.
The BD increase in March was the fourth in as many months for the US contract.
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