05 February 2013 22:23 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American butanediol (BDO) Q1 contract negotiations have come to an end, with most contracts negotiated at a discount, market participants said on Tuesday.
The magnitude of the discount varied within a range of flat to 6.5 cents/lb ($143/tonne, €106/tonne) discount, but most market participants agreed that, on average, a 3-5 cent/lb discount off Q4 2012 values appears as the most representative of current market conditions.
ICIS assessed the Q1 BDO contracts at a 4 cent/lb ($88/tonne) discount off Q4 values.
Initially, producers were looking for a rollover, supported by a higher-than-expected propylene settlement in January (plus 15 cents/lb), although propylene does not affect all US producers in the same way.
January conditions have not been as good as expected for BDO sellers, but there is still a healthy level of activity and also important growth in some small-volume accounts, sellers said.
For the US, the polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) sector remains the flagship with the help of a buoyant US automotive market.
The main US producers of BDO are Ashland, BASF and LyondellBasell.
($1 = €0.74)
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