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 2019
Supply in China fell as producers had cut plant operating rates from an average of around 70% in early April to below 60% in May, before raising them to 65% by the end of June. Several Chinese producers took their plants off line for turnarounds in May, but some of these plants did not fully recover their former operating rates as producers were under pressure from poor margins and sluggish demand.
Overall demand was lacklustre in May and June with the approach of the traditional mid-year lull. Demand from key downstream sectors, such as polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), was particularly subdued this year compared to the past. Escalating US-China trade tensions had cast a gloomy mood on the global economy and, in turn, buyers’ eagerness to stock up on cargoes.
European butanediol (BDO) supply was lengthy at the start of the quarter due to healthy domestic production and additional Asian imports. Demand was lower than expected for the quarter and as such supply remained ample. However, the flood of Asian imports slowed down as the quarter progressed with spot prices in China stabilising due to the wait-and-see mode dominating the market. The quarter ended with balanced-to-long supply and lacklustre buying appetite.
The second quarter is usually the strongest for butanediol (BDO) demand due to increased activity in the automotive sector. However, weakness in the automotive industry, alongside weak market sentiment and lengthy global BDO supply contributed to consistently low demand. Downstream, the polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) market also remained stable with low demand. The downturn in the automotive sector and global political uncertainty drove buyer hesitancy.
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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