The ICIS Butadiene report is published for Asia, Europe and the US, though the Crude C4s section is published only for Europe and the US.
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Upstream of Butadiene - C4s
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Butadiene - C4s: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2018
Several planned cracker and BD plant shutdowns in the second quarter could be offset by the start-up of CSPC's new 180,000 tonne/year BD unit in Huizhou, China, in April. Deep-sea supplies from Europe to Asia may also be less available, given rising prices in Europe.
Demand in April is expected to remain subdued due to the weak market sentiment and sluggish synthetic rubber market. An uncertain market outlook amid fears of a trade war between China and the US has weighed on demand. However, demand may pick up momentum in May or June if the outcome of talks between the US and North Korea over denuclearisation is positive, and fears of trade war between the US and China subside.
Planned maintenances will be coming to an end by middle of the second quarter and this is expected to alleviate some of the supply constraints felt in the first quarter. Supply could lengthen depending on Asian market developments, although the downside could be limited because of scheduled turnarounds in the region. Light feedstock cracking is set to persist given the advantage to cracker operators in terms of cracker margins over naphtha cracking.
There are no signs of concern over European domestic BD demand for the second quarter. It is generally expected to remain on a firm footing. The export side is more mixed though. Already there are signs of softening demand on derivative markets, which could derail further upwards movements in spot export pricing but planned turnarounds scheduled in the April-May period could limit any downside.
Increasing butadiene prices in the US and falling prices in Asia are expected to start pulling in increased import volumes. Domestic production should also be stronger, especially following a major producer restarting a cracker in the second quarter.
Demand for butadiene from the automotive sector is expected to increase slightly, mostly for original equipment rather than replacement tyres. Construction-related and other segments are also increasing in demand.
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Butadiene/Crude C4 Methodology
About Butadiene - C4s
Butadiene is a colourless, non corrosive liquefied gas with a mild aromatic or gasoline-like odour. It is slightly soluble in water, more soluble in methanol and ethanol, and soluble in most common organic solvents such as acetone, ether, benzene, and cyclohexane. It readily polymerises in the presence of sodium or oxygen.
Butadiene is used to produce synthetic rubbers and polymer resins, as well as a few chemical intermediates. The largest uses are styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) and polybutadiene rubber (BR), mostly used in tyres and automobiles.
The major source of butadiene is as a byproduct in the steam cracking of naphtha and gas oil to make ethylene and propylene. The butadiene is extracted from the C4 cracker stream using extractive distillation.
Other uses include acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins, styrene-butadiene latex and block copolymers, nitrile rubber, and adiponitrile (ADN).
Upstream of Butadiene - C4s
Butadiene - C4s
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