26 March 2013 15:17 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--Market sources are starting to ask if it makes sense to bring Asian butadiene (BD) to the US to exploit a short-term price gap.
Speaking on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), market sources noted that the spot BD price US Gulf is 87.5 cents/lb ($1,929/tonne, €1,505/tonne).
Spot prices in Asia for the week ended 22 March were as low as $1,500/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE Asia and are expected to go even lower. Add in roughly $100/tonne for shipping and Asian BD could land in the US at $1,600/tonne, or about 73 cents/lb, nearly 15 cents/lb cheaper than domestically produced BD.
“The bottom has basically fallen out of the BD market in Asia,” said one source. “A month ago, cargoes were going for $2,000/tonne. Now they’re at $1,500.”
Another market source said they had heard of spot deals being done this week in Asia for as low as $1,350/tonne.
“My customers are looking for better prices, and the price gap between Asia and the US is approaching 15 cents, which would make deals doable,” said one market source. “People are starting to ask if it makes sense to bring Asian BD to the US.”
The April contract price for BD rolled over from March, with the three producers who make up 85% of the market settling on a price of 84 cents/lbs, while a fourth producer held its prices steady at 87 cents/lb.
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.
($1 = €0.78)
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