SBR producer sees US, Europe BD prices flat in May

18 April 2012 16:08  [Source: ICIS news]

VENICE (ICIS)--Butadiene (BD) prices will likely remain flat in both the US and Europe next month, a styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) producer predicted on Wednesday.

And BD prices may have already peaked for 2012, the producer said on the sidelines of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP) annual meeting in Venice, Italy.

BD is a key component in the cost to produce SBR, as it accounts for 76.5% of the feedstocks used to make the product.

Two other market participants also said that the outlook in the US points to flat BD prices next month, with one source adding that the US contract might even drop, depending on trends in Europe and Asia.

BD prices in Asia fell last week on softer downstream markets.

BD in northeast Asia was assessed at $3,400–3,450/tonne CFR NE Asia, down by $100/tonne from a week earlier.

In Europe, export prices were assessed at $3,000–3,100/tonne FOB ARA, down by $100/tonne from the previous week at the top of the range.

A rollover or a drop in the US next month would provide some welcome relief for downstream users, which have warned of demand destruction in the US because of a surge in BD prices in recent months.

BD contract prices in the US have climbed by 55% in 2012, lifted by tighter supply amid a busy cracker turnaround season.

The monthly contract in April settled in a range of $1.52–1.62/lb, rising from $1.45/lb and $1.55/lb in March.

US nominations for the May contract are expected to be unveiled in the next few days.

The 53rd edition of the IISRP meeting opened on Monday. The conference ends on Thursday.

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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