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Updated to Q4 2017
Fourth-quarter contract negotiations settled at increases, although the level varied depending on source and starting point. Players settled at double-digit to triple-digit increases due to supply shortages amid high demand. European producer Ashland lifted its force majeure on BDO production at Marl, Germany at the start of the quarter. Meanwhile, International Diol Co's (IDC) lengthy force majeure declared in April was lifted in mid-November. Market tightness in the fourth quarter gradually eased as supply became more available during the second half of the quarter. The quarter ended with European production running smoothly; steady supply leading to balanced market dynamics.
Demand remained healthy throughout the quarter, and was particularly strong in October due to supply shortages. During November one large polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) facility carried out a month-long planned maintenance. Robust activity downstream was noted in the second-half of the quarter, with the automotive and electronics industries performing well. Although supply levels improved gradually during the quarter, demand remained steady and the traditional December slowdown in buying activity was not felt in the market. The year ended with consistently healthy demand ahead of the first-quarter 2018 contract negotiations.
Updated to Q3 2017
Two events in late summer this year put a crimp in US and European butanediol (BDO) supply. The first, which prompted Ashland’s force majeure declaration in July, stemmed from a plant fire in Germany that shutdown production at the company’s Marl site until late September and cost the company an estimated $10-15m. The second event, Hurricane Harvey, struck the Texas coast in late August and prompted two US BDO producers – LyondellBasell and Invista – to declare force majeure. Both producers have plants in the Houston, Texas area.
US butanediol (BDO) contract prices took a big jump in the third quarter, largely because of high BDO prices in Asia. Though there is little BDO imported to the US, buyers and sellers say Asian prices are a factor in negotiations. US BDO demand remained fairly strong throughout the quarter, and then events in late summer tightened supply to make demand even stronger. Supply shortages, from a fire at an Ashland plant in Germany and then Hurricane Harvey in the US, prompted big increases sought by producers separately on fourth quarter contracts.
ICIS provides pricing information, news and analysis for all major petrochemical and chemical markets, including Butanediol.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments, giving you a robust reference for your negotiations.
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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 Butanediol, 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.