20 July 2012 23:10 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US butadiene (BD) producer on Friday nominated a rollover for August, confirming expectations by some in the US market that lacklustre demand at home may outweigh a recent increase in spot prices in other regions.
Most US BD contracts settled at 90 cents/lb ($1,984/tonne, €1,607/tonne) in July, down by 16% from June, under settlements reached by three producers that account for more than 80% of the US capacity negotiated in the monthly contract.
Projections for the August settlement had been mixed, as some market participants were predicting a rollover, while others said the US contract could rise next month because of price gains in Asia.
BD prices in Asia were assessed at $2,400-2,500/tonne on Friday, unchanged from a week earlier, but up by around 30% compared with $1,900-1,950/tonne a month ago.
The spike in Asia in the past few weeks came as supply in the region tightened after a series of cracker shutdowns.
However, the uptrend began to lose momentum this week as several units have been restarted and the market is becoming more balanced.
US BD contracts normally settle at the end of the month for the following month.
Three more nominations for the August contract are expected to be unveiled in the next few days.
BD producers in North America include ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Shell and TPC Group. Buyers include Ashland, Invista, LANXESS, Michelin and Negromex.
($1 = €0.81)
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