Butadiene Prices Overview

Market Overview

Quarterly Update on Global Butadiene Market
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Butadiene demand across Asia remained subjected to strong fluctuations hit by a possible decline in in the production at the downstream synthetic rubber market. Prices remained oscillating between crests and troughs as producers faced supply constraints amid dampened demand from the downstream synthetic rubber producers. By the end of August, spot BD prices in China surged to USD 830 per tonne, showing a double-digit increase from the start of the month. In the northeast Asia, spot BD offers were raised by about 17.5% from the levels observed in July, with producers striving to widen product margins amid players longing for a much-needed revival in the downstream rubber sectors. Market outlook remained under pressure amid anticipations that the Butadiene supply in China will grow with new capacities coming on stream in the fourth quarter. In September however, new supply hit the market as Liaoning Bora LyondellBasell’s plant started production of BD in the Liaoning province of northeastern China and started auctioning cargoes.
North America
Butadiene supply remained mixed because of the resumption in downstream operations and unexpected outages created uncertainty over Product availability remained tighter because one of the largest BD producers, BASF Total, turned around its US Port Arthur, Texas steam cracker for a larger part of the quarter, thereby affecting the export activity. The resumption of several downstream Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) plants and tyre manufacturing units after Hurricane Laura added to the production losses pressured the BD producers to ramp up run rates. The news of one of the largest BD consumers, INVISTA shutting its 480 KTPA Texas Adiponitrile site pressured the sentiments. As the US’ automotive sector started clawing back to recover the losses, demand picked up from August onwards, causing prices to register strong quarterly gains to assess around USD 685 per tonne FOB US Gulf in September.

Butadiene supply was weighed under the demand downturn at the start of Q3, but some unexpected C-4 cracker shutdowns helped in offsetting the market surplus. Towards the end of Q3, demand started to pick up the lost uptrend in line with increasing downstream tire and automobile production though producers remained wary about the overall recovery until the COVID-19 pandemic abated. Inventory levels were low as several synthetic rubber producers were able to ramp rates up. As per market estimates, the European market in Q3 was primarily driven by the buoyant demand from Asia which was heard turning more positive than in the last five months.

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ChemAnalyst gathers information through primary research surveys conducted with various Butadiene manufacturers, spread across the domestic and international market, suppliers and dealers/distributors to gain insights into value-chains and demand-supply scenario to assess the market situation. Thorough study of company’s annual reports and secondary sources such as exhaustive search on credible paid databases, including our internal database is done to verify the information. All the collected information is analyzed, evaluated and presented in chronological order to depict a meaningful and clear picture of the concerned market.
Our dedicated team of industry experts comprehensively monitors and analyzes various aspects of the Global Butadiene market. The team analyzes various industrial segments, strategic viewpoints and provides an analysis of the industry’s performance in the long run. This would enable our clients in efficiently plan their future investments, mitigate risk, understand the cost dynamics and strike out a balance amidst market volatility.
Critical examination of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chains and shift in demand patterns with change in buying behavior of consumers across the globe.
Several ongoing development projects across industries are tracked, followed by the details of major projects in the development stage, which can positively or negatively influence Global Butadiene market.
Pricing is captured through exhaustive primary interviews with domestic and international manufacturers, traders and importers and customers on monthly and yearly basis.

Finally, region-specific markets for Butadiene are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.


Butadiene (BD) is flammable, colorless gas with a mild aromatic odor. It is readily soluble in alcohol and ether, insoluble in water and readily polymerizes in the presence of oxygen. One of the most important use of Butadiene is in the manufacture of synthetic rubber such as styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), nitrile butadiene rubbers (NBR), polybutadiene rubber (PBR) (Cis-polybutadiene and trans-polybutadiene) and other elastomeric formulations with specific properties. PBR and SBR accounts for nearly 55% of the global Butadiene demand. Other large consuming segments include Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polychloroprene, and Adiponitrile (feedstock for Nylon -6,6). Butadiene is also used extensively for various polymerization reactions during plastics manufacturing. Butadiene is commonly produced via two routes – (1) as a by-product during production of Ethylene and Propylene production wherein the crude C4 stream is isolated from steam cracking process and is fed to extract Butadiene from the other C4s via extractive distillation. (2) by dehydrogenation of n-Butane or n-Butene which are obtained from steam crackers or C4 refinery streams. Leading licensors of the production technology for Butadiene include-Shell, BASF and Nippon-Zeon.