ICIS has a process of rolling consultations on all of its pricing methodologies. This consultation paper was held in response to changes in the European butanediol market and covers the ICIS primary price points included in the European Butanediol (BDO) weekly publications.
The consultation asked both general questions about the suitability of the ICIS pricing methodology and questions addressing specific European Butanediol market issues.
The consultation is now closed but you can click here to view the document Butanediol Methodology Consultation 2022
Given the volatility in key feedstock pricing, a number of players introduced monthly contracts at the start of Q2 2022 rather than settling a quarterly contract.
This trend has been observed throughout the European BDO market.
ICIS received 12 responses and this summary takes into account all of them.
Some producers and buyers intend to continue with monthly contracts as they believe this better reflects market dynamics, which follow Asia closely. Other participants still expect this to be temporary, with a shift back to quarterly agreements to come given that contracts downstream still reference the quarterly assessment.
There was strong support on both sides of the market to continue the ICIS quarterly assessment, with this being key for contract formulas in both the BDO and downstream markets.
There was also support from both buyers and sellers to introduce a monthly quotation, with the majority of market participants in favour of this running alongside the existing quarterly assessment.
One respondent was opposed to monthly and quarterly assessments existing in parallel.
There were also responses encouraging ICIS to continue to use feedback from key European buyers located beyond Northwest Europe. A minority of respondents commented on whether ICIS should include contract feedback from non-European producers.
There were further comments about making sure that feedback is gathered from a wide range of derivative sectors to reflect the conditions of the whole market.
ICIS intends to introduce a monthly assessment that will run alongside the existing quarterly assessment.
This reflects the feedback of the majority of participants who responded to the consultation. Discontinuing the quarterly assessment would not be reflective of the agreements taking place and would result in significant disruption to existing contractual agreements for both the BDO and derivative markets which have relied on ICIS quarterly assessments for more than 20 years.
The monthly price assessment will start with July, using the Q2 price as the base point.
ICIS will continue to monitor the market to see whether monthly assessments gain most traction, or the market does revert to quarterly. ICIS reserves the right to propose discontinuing either assessment in the future if it is no longer reflective of the business practices of participants or there is insufficient feedback received to make the assessment viable.
ICIS assesses feedback from all key European companies, including companies outside of Northwest Europe. This also includes feedback on contracts from a non-European producer. The ICIS methodology will be amended to make it clear that feedback from players in Southern Europe is included.
To provide further comments or feedback please contact Katherine Sale, Head of Editorial Strategy: Katherine.Sale@icis.com