HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot butadiene (BD) prices were assessed higher on Friday as sources said they had jumped on supply tightness and steady demand.
US spot BD prices were assessed 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne) higher, moving up to 65-70 cents/lb on a CIF (cost, insurance and freight) basis.
Buyers said deals were reported as high as 69 cents/lb, with offer levels in the 70-75 cents/lb level.
“If you look at it, Europe is tight right now, and that’s where most of the spot material comes from,” a source said. “You also have a buyer over there pulling hard for material.”
Although US cracker operating rates are strong heading into the first-quarter turnaround season, sources said domestic spot supply is tight.
One producer said it has no material available, and sources said another producer is experiencing production issues at its cracker.
US demand is starting to improve because year-end inventory control measures are being eased. However, buyers cautioned against reading too much into it.
“There’s not a significant pull in the US,” a buyer said. “This is almost all a supply issue.”
Major US BD producers include ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Shell Chemical and TPC Group.