SAN ANTONIO (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) demand is not strong enough to support higher prices, sources said on the sidelines of this year’s International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
Market players anticipated tighter global markets in the spring amid a heavy maintenance schedule, but that has not played out.
Demand remains lacklustre across regions, especially amid a softening in Asia.
“Everyone said, ‘We’re concerned about the second quarter,’” a source said, but “there are volumes if you need it.”
Volumes are heard available, even in Europe amid planned maintenance and unplanned outages.
Demand is especially soft in downstream styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) markets amid a slumping China automotive sector and overall economy.
Demand appears to be slowly picking up in the downstream acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) sector.
Still, the demand outlook for 2019 is cautious amid concern about economic growth.
Major US BD producers include ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Shell Chemical and TPC Group.
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC takes place on 24-26 March in San Antonio, Texas.