ICIS publishes a Butanediol report for Asia, Europe and the US, though the Europe and US reports are combined as a global report.
Contract and spot price assessments are made by our locally based reporters, and market news and analysis, such as production, upstream/downstream activity and graphs, are all included when relevant. Our independent reports are an essential tool to help you make important commercial decisions.
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Butanediol: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2018
A new start-up in Xinjiang, China, in October will likely exacerbate the already oversupplied Chinese market. However, the excess capacity is expected to be balanced by reduced production in other northeast Asian countries such as South Korea. The overall price trend going forward largely hinges on raw material price movement for the respective feedstock.
Demand is expected to pick up slightly with the onset of the traditional peak demand season in early fourth quarter. Market activity in China is expected to recover in October after the Golden Week holiday on 1-7 October as buyers start to replenish stock after the week-long holiday and in preparation for the seasonal peak.
One European BDO producer will conduced a planned maintenance this quarter, according to sources. Inventories are being prepared in advance. Meanwhile, a downstream polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) producer will also be conducting a planned maintenance. There will be slightly lower demand and supply as a result of these shutdowns, which should mitigate the impact of each other.
Some buyers suggest BDO demand will decrease in the fourth quarter due to a downstream PBT shutdown scheduled. However, this should be counterbalanced by slightly less supply as one European producer will also conduct a planned shutdown. Overall healthy demand is expected to continue.
Supply is expected to be slightly constrained by a plant maintenance in October, but the market should remain in balance as peak demand season wanes.
Demand for BDO should decline slightly during the quarter on the end of peak demand season for textiles made with Spandex and other stretchable fibres.
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Butanediol (BDO) is a colourless and almost odourless viscous liquid. This hygroscopic diol is soluble in water, alcohols, esters, ketones, glycol ethers and glycol ether acetates; immiscible in aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons and diethylether.
BDO is a chemical intermediate used in the production of polymers, solvents and fine chemicals.
The largest consumer is tetrahydrofuran (THF), used to make polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) which goes into spandex fibres, urethane elastomers and copolyester ethers. The next largest outlet is polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).
Sizeable quantities of BDO go into the manufacture of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), which has outlets in electronics and high-performance polymers.