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.
Updated to Q2 2021
Although affected by the permanent shutdown of a facility in southeast Asia at end March, the resulting supply loss was more than fully covered by higher run rates at Chinese plants during the quarter. Suppliers in China started to ship parcels to Asian destinations as domestic demand was fully met. Asia sellers were similarly well stocked in the second half of the quarter as buying momentum eased somewhat, since users have sufficient inventories.
Users were unhurried in Q2 as supply in China became ample. Most have sufficient stocks to meet near-term requirements. Demand in the region was largely stable in the first half of the quarter. Some buyers, however, delayed commitments in view of a weakening market, hoping to secure material at lower costs. With the surge in the coronavirus in the second half of the quarter, new restrictions dented manufacturing and trade to some degree.
The supply of BDO was very tight through April and May due to limited import availability and domestic production limitations. At the start of April, LyondellBasell lifted a force majeure it first declared in February, and a force majeure declared by BASF in March remained active for the entire quarter. Supply eased to a tight condition in June, but was further disrupted at the end of the quarter by an unplanned outage and force majeure at INEOS’ site in Marl, Germany.
Demand was strong across most end-uses throughout Q2. Consumption from the PBT sector was disrupted by outages and force majeures linked to the short supply of co-feedstock PTA in April and May. However, overall consumption of BDO remained strong despite these limitations.
Supply remained critically tight, with LyondellBasell returning mid-quarter from a storm-related outage. As a result of limited vessel availability and low inventories in other regions – and resulting high costs – imported material was unworkable, further tightening US supply.
Demand continued to be very strong in Q2, particularly into consumer electronics. Automotive demand was not as muted as expected amid a global semiconductor shortage that reduced vehicle production. Demand for downstream durable goods remained high.
We offer the following regional Butanediol analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Butanediol marketplace.
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1,4-Butanediol (BDO) is an intermediate product; a colourless and almost odourless viscous liquid.
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.
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