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
Butadiene - C4s
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Butadiene - C4s: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
In Asia, the demand for butadiene (BD) is expected to be stable to firm in the first quarter of 2017 due to strong demand for synthetic rubber amid robust automotive and tyre sales in China.
China is the world’s largest automotive market and synthetic rubber is used in the production of tyres for vehicles.
Spot interest for BD has been exceptionally strong in the first quarter due to a heavy cracker and BD plant shutdown schedule during this period in Asia. BD spot prices in Asia have surged since early November, but the price spike may halt during the Lunar New Year holiday in late January.
In Europe, planned cracker and BD unit maintenance in spring 2017 is expected to restrict BD supply, alongside the ongoing preference for light feedstock cracking. European domestic consumers have maximised contractual volumes in the face of strong demand from Asian buyers. As a result, spot prices were near a five-year high at the start of 2017.
The US BD market will follow fundamentals in Asia to determine the price direction for the first quarter. Domestic BD supply is expected to remain on either side of balanced, with upcoming turnarounds and potential arbitrages to Asia helping to reduce any excess volumes. Demand is expected to remain relatively steady, with slow but steady growth. Although there are a number of downstream tyre plants coming on line, sources cautioned that they may not consume US-made rubber.
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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
Downstream of Butadiene - C4s