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 Q1 2021
Supply in the region was extremely tight with a plant in Japan permanently closed at end-2020 and a plant in southeast Asia mothballed at end-March. Plant outages in Europe and the US further exacerbated the supply crunch in Asia. Suppliers remained largely unable to meet demand and a number of customers were put on allocation for spot material.
The vaccine-led recovery in the Asia boosted buying momentum. Higher output at factories led to increased demand for BDO in China and the broader Asian market. Enquiries from the US and Europe also filtered through to Asia as demand for spot material increased sharply. The strong demand extended into southeast Asia and India as well, where buyers sought increasingly limited spot lots.
European supply tightened further during Q1 2021 due to strong demand and force majeures impacting producers LyondellBasell and BASF. Import volumes from Asia remained very limited amid market conditions and logistics complications that made Europe an unattractive export destination, while the smaller trade flow from the US was effectively closed when the Shandong Ruyi Texas BDO plant was permanently closed.
Demand was strong throughout Q1, and a buyer said volumes were significantly higher than in Q1 2020. The exact drivers of the strong demand are uncertain, though pent-up demand and consumer spending power caused by the pandemic, strong downstream demand from Asia, and limited imports of derivative PBT making domestic PBT production necessary were all cited.
Supply became critically tight, amid the permanent closure of Lycra’s plant at the end of 2020, production issues related to the polar storm in the US Gulf, and an unexpected government order that took precedence over contracted volumes.
Demand for downstream PU continued at high rates. Activity in the key automotive sector was tempered by shortages of semiconductor chips, PU foam and other key components. But as consumers redirected money that otherwise may have been spent on travel, sales of other durable goods including consumer electronics remained strong.
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.
LONDON (ICIS)--Nick Cleeve, editor of the butanediol (BDO) report, discusses the Q2 price settlements in Europe with Zubair Adam, editor of the engineering plastics report, which includes downstream...Read