Europe BDO players have mixed views on 2014 demand

19 November 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Participants in the European butanediol (BDO) market offered differing opinions on Tuesday about demand for 2014 amid mixed signals about the health of Europe's economy.

BDO is used heavily in the downstream automobile and construction industries. Fresh data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) show that EU registrations for new passenger cars rose 4.7% year on year to 1m units in October.

Despite the rise, the results recorded were the second lowest level to date for October since 2003 when ACEA began recording EU new car registrations. On top of that, new car registrations for the January-October period were down 3.1% year over year to 10m units.

New figures from data agency Eurostat show that EU construction output levels fell in September by 1.3% month on month. 

Revised data also showed that an August month-on-month output rise was more modest than previously thought. The agency initially estimated output rises of 0.4% in the EU and 0.5% in the eurozone for August, but that has been cut to 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

The current lacklustre sales in the domestic European car industry are largely recognised by BDO market participants. However, some BDO producers say the downturn is bottoming out and that demand for cars – and therefore for BDO – should increase in 2014, in light of the European Commission's recent forecast that the EU economy will grow by 1.4% in 2014.

A producer said it expects car registrations in the more robust markets of Western Europe to grow by 2-3% in 2014. The producer also said the increasing use of BDO derivative plastics like polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) in cars would also point to increasing demand for BDO.

A buyer said it does not see any strong growth in BDO demand next year, and maybe none at all, because the economy has not recovered enough to support an increase in BDO consumption.

Most market players have yet to finalise their price targets before proceeding with Q1 contract price negotiations in the coming weeks. However, one producer said prices may roll over or decline slightly because of overcapacity in the market.

By: Vladimir Guevarra
+44 208 652 3214

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