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 Q4 2020
Supply is expected to increase as maintenance shutdowns in China have largely ended. Output rates in China are expected to extend gains as suppliers seek to meet rising demand. Some Asian producers are mulling plant restarts or higher run rates as buying interest revived.
Demand is expected to continue improving in the fourth quarter, as restocking of end-products in Asia and Europe continued to spur usage of BDO. However, elevated tensions between the US and China and the uncertain outcome of the upcoming US elections could weigh on sentiment and prompt caution. The resurgence of the coronavirus spread in some economies also fueled speculation that the recovery in trade could again be impacted.
Supply is likely to remain balanced-to-tight during Q4. INEOS’s production issue has been resolved, but imports from Asia will remain limited and increased demand will keep pressure on stocks of BDO.
BDO demand was strong early in Q4, with a producer saying it had returned to levels seen at the start of the year. Demand is likely to remain strong during Q4, although it is dependent on a sustained recovery in the automotive sector. Demand is also likely to decrease in December as buyers destock ahead of the year-end.
Although supply is likely to decrease with the decommissioning of Lycra’s plant in Texas by the year-end, it should remain sufficient to meet demand. If domestic supply does not suffice, however, imports should be available to bridge any gaps.
Demand is expected to remain sluggish, well below year-ago levels. Separate price increase nominations for Q4 contracts were announced, amid margins that have long been unfavourable. US BDO contracts have not increased since Q3 2018.
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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.