ICIS publishes a Butanediol report for Asia, Europe and the US, though the Europe and US reports are combined as a global report.
Contract and spot price assessments are made by our locally based reporters, and market news and analysis, such as production, upstream/downstream activity and graphs, are all included when relevant. Our independent reports are an essential tool to help you make important commercial decisions.
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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 Q3 2016
The European butanediol (BDO) market is preparing for the Q3 contract price settlement with the sentiment finally moving away from the bearishness that ended up in two years of price drops. Players are largely negotiating stable-to-higher prices on the back of recovering upstream prices, healthy demand and low profitability after some previous sharp drops. Pricing talks are expected to close mid-to-end July.
Spot import prices of BDO into the China market are expected to soften going forward into the third quarter of 2016. China-based BDO users remained resistant towards importing cargoes because of faster delivery and comparatively more favourable prices in the Chinese domestic market, amid ample local supply. Furthermore, the depreciation of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar also made it less cost-effective for Chinese buyers to import, which prompted expectations of softening prices.
In North America, BDO appears headed toward a new dynamic in that market, of prices not going down for a change. With major BDO feedstock prices mostly moving higher in tandem with oil, third quarter contract prices are expected to roll or move up. BDO watchers expect this stable-to-higher outlook to persist as long as crude oil prices are pushing higher.
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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.