08 January 2013 20:35 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) production in November totalled 252m lb (114,296 tonnes), a 2% increase from 247m lb produced in the same month in 2011, consulting firm Jacobs Consultancy said on Tuesday.
BD production in November rose by 0.3% by volume from October, while climbing by 3.4% when output is measured on a daily rate, the group said in its monthly Hodson report.
US crackers operated at 93.7% of capacity in November, rising from 90.8% in October and 92.2% in November 2011, the report showed.
The increase from October resulted from only three crackers in November being involved in relatively brief unplanned outages that month, the report said.
US BD contracts in January rolled over from December, with the majority of the producers that participate in the monthly contract settlement keeping prices at 76 cents/lb ($1,676/tonne, €1,274/tonne).
The flat settlement came amid weak demand from a soft downstream styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market.
The SBR market, which is the largest consumer of BD, has been weak for the past six months and that has caused the BD market to be soft as well.
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), another downstream segment, has not suffered as the SBR market, and has been one of the few positive points in the BD market.
Additional reporting by Wesley Busch
($1 = €0.76)
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