Asia BDO market faces year-end lull, weak downstream PBT demand

Author: Matthew Chong


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A steady increase in China’s production of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) since mid-October will likely weigh on market sentiment at the end of the year.

(Source: Photo by Yu Fangping/Pacific Press Via Zuma Wire/Shutterstock)

The average BDO plant operating rate in China was at 65.4% in the week ended 5 November, up from 61.1% in the previous week, ICIS data showed.

The run rates had hovered at 50-60% for most part of July to H1 October this year.

In the China domestic market, weekly prices were flat at yuan (CNY) 8,900-9,400/tonne DEL (delivered) in the week ended 5 November, according to ICIS data.

Further prices increases were halted after having risen for two consecutive weeks as buyers were lukewarm to producers’ incessant price hikes.

In the import market, prices were stable week-on-week at $1,280-1,350/tonne CFR (cost & freight) CMP (China Main Port) for bulk cargoes and unchanged at $1,380-1,450/tonne CFR SE (southeast) Asia on a drummed basis, ICIS data showed.

Demand is expected to taper in the year-end from the key downstream polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) sectors due to the seasonal lull.

In the PBT import market, prices were maintained week-on-week at $1.23-1.30/kg CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NE (northeast) Asia, and held steady at $1.24-1.30/kg CIF India in the week ended 5 November, according to ICIS data.

Overall PBT demand will likely be curbed by a general slowdown in the key end-user automotive industry.

Focus article by Matthew Chong

($1 = CNY7.01)