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 Q3 2019
Supply in China in the third quarter dropped as local producers further cut their plant operating rates to 50-60% from 60-70% in the second quarter. A number of Chinese producers were either shut for maintenance or have reduced their run rates because of poor production margins. A Taiwanese producer shut of its Mailiao units in April and September respectively, while a separate Taiwanese producer took one of its units in Mailiao off line in September for one month of maintenance.
Overall demand remained largely stagnant in the third quarter, despite the onset of the traditional peak demand season in August and September. Demand from downstream sectors such as polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) were especially sluggish this year, against the backdrop of ongoing US-China trade tensions and a slowdown in global economic growth. Buyers continued to be non-committal in their purchases and mostly purchased on a need-to basis.
European butanediol (BDO) supply was lengthy throughout Q3 with no planned or unplanned outages reported. Buying appetite remained weak, contributing to ongoing market length. Asian imports eased slightly due to the poor demand. This helped stabilise European supply to some extent.
European BDO demand softened during Q3 as the seasonal summer lull led to reduced activity in August. Ongoing poor demand from the automotive sector and political uncertainty, including Brexit and US-China trade tensions, continued to depress market sentiment.
Supply of US butanediol (BDO) increased in the third quarter amid a lack of production issues, available imports and lower-than-expected demand. Feedstocks have been readily available with upstream maleic anhydride (MA), propylene and methanol well supplied. Imports of BDO have been higher in recent quarters than in the previous years, supplementing domestic availability.
Demand for US BDO decreased in the third quarter as the ongoing trade war between the US and China and weak markets in Europe slowed derivative markets like spandex production. The downstream automotive sector remains weak and the peak season for the downstream construction sector was less than typical.
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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