August US BD contract falls to 40-47 cents/lb in split settlement

30 July 2013 17:24  [Source: ICIS news]

August US BD contract falls to 40 to 47 cents/lb in split settlementHOUSTON (ICIS)--With prices so low that no one really wants to sell product, the August US butadiene (BD) contract has settled, with a separate price from nearly every one of the four main US producers, sources said Tuesday.

Two producers have set their August price at 40 cents/lb ($882/tonne, €662/tonne), one producer has set its price at 46 cents/lb, and another has set its price at 47 cents/lb, sources said.

"The producers who have priced product at 40 cents aren't really selling at that price," one source said. "There's a split settlement because no one really wants to sell at prices this low."

The last time the US BD contract was at a similar level was July 2009, when it was 45 cents/lb.

BD has been dropping steadily over the past few months.

The US BD contract price among the three producers who account for about 85% of US BD production in January was 76 cents/lb. It rose to 84 cents/lb in March and April and early-year forecasts had BD rising to over $1/lb.

But then the replacement-tyre market collapsed, and demand for BD and styrene-butadiene-rubber (SBR) along with it. About 85% of BD production goes to make SBR for tyres.

In May, the monthly US contract price dropped to 79 cents/lb, in June it fell to 74 cents and in July it was 66 cents/lb.

Compared with the lowest proposed August contract price of 40 cents/lb, the US contract price for BD has fallen by 26 cents, or 39%, in one month.

Major BD producers in the US include ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Shell and TPC Group.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Mark Yost
+1 713 525 2653

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