28 April 2012 00:07 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The final two US May butadiene (BD) contract nominations were heard at bigger drops than the first two, sources said on Friday.
A producer who settled its April contract price at $1.55/lb ($3,417/tonne, €2,597/tonne) came through with a May nomination of $1.47/lb.
The producer who settled its April contract price at $1.52/lb announced a May nomination of $1.45/lb.
The previous nominations were at $1.59/lb and $1.52/lb, each of which represented a drop of 3 cents/lb from their respective April settlements.
BD buyers expressed surprise at the nominations, but said that weaker spot prices in Asia and Europe dictated a significant fall in the May US contract.
Also, US demand for BD from the styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) market remains soft, buyers said.
BD supply tightness has been the major factor keeping prices high, as a busier-than-normal US cracker turnaround season and lighter feedstocks have constrained supply availability.
Major US BD producers include ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Shell Chemical and TPC Group.
Major US buyers include Ashland, Firestone Polymers, Invista, LANXESS, Michelin and Negromex.
($1 = €0.76)
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