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Europe Increasingly Becoming More Dependent on Domestic Supplies for BDO

Europe Increasingly Becoming More Dependent on Domestic Supplies for BDO

  • 08-Sep-2021 6:00 PM
  • Journalist: Timothy Greene

The European 1,4 Butanediol (BDO) market has been changing radically throughout 2021 with domestic supplies of the material becoming more important due to disruption in global tradeflows. 

The imports from Asia have reduced drastically due to multiple factors including surging logistics costs, limited vessel spaces, and price increases in Asia. 

The small flow of material from the US has also halted since the closure of Shandong Ruyi’s Texas production facility at the end of 2020.

The imports are likely to remain low for the remaining year due to logistics constraints, global tight supply, and increasing demand for downstream Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate (PBAT) in the Asian markets. 

Amid the constrained domestic supply and restricted imports, the quarterly Butanediol prices have increased with the Q3 2021 price levels at Euro 2250 per tonne which are above the Q4 2020 levels. The quarterly price increase is majorly driven by lack of imports leading to tightening of the market. 

The domestic supplies have also been tight with the plant outages at LyondellBasell plant, production issues at INEOS and BASF plants. 

BDO is a colourless, odourless viscous liquid. The chemical is soluble in water, alcohols, esters, ketones, glycol ethers etc. It is basically a chemical intermediate used for production of polymers, solvents, and other chemicals. The largest application of BDO is Tetrahydrofuran (THF) which is used to make Polytetramethylene Ether Glycol (PTMEG) which has application in spandex fibres. 

As per ChemAnalyst, “the decreasing imports of BDO in Europe and constrained domestic supplies will be putting upwards pressure on the prices in the upcoming quarter also. Moreover, with the imports falling and increasing demand of the downstream sectors, domestic supplies will be becoming more and more important for European BDO markets.”

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