US spot butadiene steady, might have hit ceiling on soft demand

18 October 2013 22:09  [Source: ICIS news]

US spot butadiene steady, might have hit ceiling on soft demandHOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot butadiene (BD) prices were steady on Friday and might have hit their ceiling for the rest of the year, sources said.

US spot BD prices were assessed at 50-55 cents/lb ($1,102-1,213/tonne, €815-898/tonne) on a CIF (cost, insurance and freight) basis.

Sources said that spot prices had been buoyed in October by strong demand from the Asian region because of supply tightness there.

However, demand from Asia is starting to weaken as spot cargoes have been secured for November and demand in that market remains soft.

The recent increase in spot BD could lead to an increase in November contracts, but buyers are hoping for a rollover.

“Demand in the US is soft and supply is long,” a buyer said. “It’s unclear if we’ll follow spot prices higher.”

Sources said domestic BD demand is soft because of seasonal factors, weak demand for tyres and several downsteam production issues in the plastics sector.

A rollover in contract material could boost demand for BD and its derivatives, as US material would remain attractive to overseas buyers.

“It would be nice if they would let us stay cost-advantaged,” the buyer said. “But if November goes up, we lose that.”

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

($1 = €0.74)

By: John Dietrich

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