HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot butadiene (BD) prices moved up slightly on Friday based on an increase in demand and continued tight supply.
Sources said trades were heard at the 59-60 cents/lb ($1,301-1,323/tonne, €950-966/tonne) level, putting the ICIS assessment at 55-60 cents/lb.
Spot prices had been steady at 50-55 cents/lb for most of December as market activity waned and export opportunities dried up.
The export opportunities weakened because the Asian region purchased 20,000-25,000 tonnes of material in November, stemming from tight supply.
However, that material filled the market adequately, with demand soft on year-end inventory control measures and the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays.
US domestic demand remains soft, but cheaper prices led to some bargain buying and the slight rise in spot prices.
US spot prices are 18% lower year on year from the average of 70 cents/lb for this week.
The spot BD market is also tight in the US, as production has slowed on the typical year-end factors and continued emphasis is placed on cracking lighter feeds.
($1 = €0.73)