Spot prices for butadiene in Asia may likely increase due to tightening of supply as more materials are being exported to US and Europe, according to market sources on March 19

LONDON , April 9, 2014 () – On 19 Mar 2014, market sources noted that Asian spot butadiene (BD) prices may likely increase due to tightening of supply as more materials are being exported to the US and Europe. In particular, major producers in South Korea are expected to transport 5200 tonnes of new BD to the US in Apr 2014. The amount is in addition to the 15,000 tonnes transported last Feb-Mar 2014. Also, 5000 tonnes of BD will be transported to Europe from Southeast Asia. Europe currently experiences a shortage due to planned and unplanned plant shutdowns. However, a huge price increase is unlikely to happen due to weakness in the downstream synthetic rubber market, specifically in China. Prices last 14 Mar 2014 are at $1180-1200/tonne cost and freight (CFR) northeast Asia, a $230 decrease since end-Feb 2014. To cut this downtrend, some facilities have decided to stop production. Lotte Chemical has announced that it will close two of its plants in South Korea for maintenance. The affected plants are its 150,000 tonnes/y BD facility in Daesan and 130,000 tonnes/y BD facility in Yeosu. Meanwhile, the Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS) said that it will lower its production rate to 80-85% from its 60,000 tonnes/y normal operating rate. However, this move of lowering production rates might be counterbalanced when some companies start to operate new plants in 2Q 2014. Sichuan Petrochemical of China will open its new 150,000 tonnes/y BD plant this Apr 2014. Fujian Refining & Petrochemicals will also open its new 60,000 tonnes/y facility in late May 2014 or early Jun 2014. PTT Global Chemical of Thailand will open its new 75,000 tonnes/y BD unit at the end of Mar 2014.

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