Butanediol Prices, markets & analysis
With a network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US, ICIS is fully equipped to keep you updated on everything that happens in the global Butanediol market, whether you buy or sell Butanediol or related products.
From daily and weekly reports containing price assessments obtained by our network of local reporters, to the news and analysis that put the market into focus, we provide the tools you need to make confident business decisions.
Our editor gives their expert view
Butanediol Overview Transcript
Butanediol or BDO is an intermediate product, a colourless and almost odourless viscous liquid.
Around 32% of BDO production goes into engineering thermoplastic PBT, with another 32% going to the manufacture of tetrahydrofuran which is used to make Lycra or spandex.
It is used industrially as a solvent and in the manufacture of some types of plastics and polyurethanes. It ultimately goes into textiles, clothing items items and footwear such as running shoes.
BDO feedstocks are acetylene and formaldyhide, butane via maleic anhydride, butadiene, and propylene oxide.
Around two thirds of the BDO market is captive and more than half off the remaining third is tied up in long-term contracts.
Global demand and pricing is driven by the key Asian market. European pricing has recently reached record levels.
As this is a volatile industry, our readers rely on ICIS four our impartial and accurate reporting.
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Butanediol: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
In Asia, the butanediol (BDO) market in the fourth quarter is mixed, according to market participants. Some said prices for BDO will rise further on the back of the limited supply. Major Chinese producers were operating their plants at lower rates. However, other market participants said prices will be under pressure due to the new capacities from China.
In US BDO markets, conversations have started to settle the Q4 contracts and the two sides have taken positions. Buyers seek a discount based on the perceived threat of improved supply either from Asian imports or from the liberation of volumes by a local producer (INVISTA). However, imports are not yet showing up in US shores in substantial volumes, and INVISTA cannot yet offer volumes compatible with the needs of large-volume buyers. This is seen as something that could rather happen in 2015.
In Europe, BDO prices in the fourth quarter will depend mainly on the extent of pressure coming from Asian imports.
Buyers will push for decreases on the back of arbitrage opportunities and the length of the market. Producers will use the current euro/dollar exchange rate, increasing spot prices in China and methanol Q4 increase as argumentation against decreases. The market will remain balanced to long depending on production rates and import/export activity.
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Butanediol (BDO) is a colourless and almost odourless viscous liquid. This hygroscopic diol is soluble in water, alcohols, esters, ketones, glycol ethers and glycol ether acetates; immiscible in aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons and diethylether.
BDO is a chemical intermediate used in the production of polymers, solvents and fine chemicals.
The largest consumer is tetrahydrofuran (THF), used to make polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) which goes into spandex fibres, urethane elastomers and copolyester ethers. The next largest outlet is polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).
Sizeable quantities of BDO go into the manufacture of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), which has outlets in electronics and high-performance polymers.