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Updated to Q1 2017
European butadiene (BD) spot and contract reference prices rocketed in the first quarter of 2017.
Strong demand both from domestic consumers and the export market because of very high prices in Asia, tightened BD supply in the run-up to a fairly heavy maintenance slate – for crackers as well as BD units. Some unplanned outages and operational issues exacerbated the problem hampering turnaround preparations.
The contract reference price for March was more than double that for December following a couple of very large unprecedented month-on-month increases as European players tried to keep up with global price movements and bridge the very wide gap between Europe and Asia which was taking every available spot volume away from the home market. Spot prices rose to levels not seen since 2012.
Domestic customers maximised contractual offtakes as far as possible because, despite the big increases in contract prices, derivatives such as synthetic rubber and ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) continued to be competitively priced versus the rest of the world, helped by the relatively weak euro.
In the latter part of the quarter, Asian prices fell almost as rapidly as they had risen, but European spot prices held steady, largely as planned turnarounds were getting underway.
The ICIS European butadiene (BD) report is a key benchmark report. This means that published numbers are widely referenced in industry contracts. We cover the contract market on a free delivered (FD) northwest European-basis (NWE).
This is a monthly market. It moved from monthly to quarterly in January 2011.
The contract is an industry-agreed price, which means that key producers and consumers exchange price ideas and negotiate a new settlement in the last week of every month.
ICIS covers the spot market, covering the inland and domestic market on a FD new-basis and the deep sea free on board (FOB) export market.
We also cover market fundamentals such as supply, production issues (planned and unplanned) and any developments in the downstream markets.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Butadiene - C4s. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Butadiene - C4s, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.