Third US March BD nomination comes in at a 23% increase

24 February 2012 17:18  [Source: ICIS news]

US March BD nominated higherHOUSTON (ICIS)--A third nomination for the March US butadiene (BD) contract was heard on Friday at an increase of 23%.

The producer nominated a March price of $1.45/lb ($3,197/tonne, €2,398/tonne), which would represent an increase of 27 cents/lb.

The producer was one of three that settled its February contract at $1.18/lb. A fourth US producer settled its February contracts at $1.30/lb, splitting the market.

That producer has nominated a March BD contract price of $1.55/lb. Another producer has nominated a March contract price of $1.50/lb.

No nominations have been heard from the fourth US producer.

Buyers are arguing that nominated March prices will lead to demand destruction, especially in the styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) co-polymer markets.

The buyers point to a recent lack of spot activity as a sign that downstream markets cannot support higher BD costs.

Producers countered that supply of BD is tight because of several cracker outages and that demand from Asia is also strong.

Asian spot prices have come down recently, but still remain high enough to support an arbitrage window.

Major US BD producers include ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Shell Chemical and TPC Group. Major buyers include Ashland, Invista, LANXESS, Michelin and Negromex.

($1 = €0.75)

By: John Dietrich

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