The Urethane Blog

Butanediol Price Surge in China

BDO market sees a booming start

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Price of BDO hiked after Lunar Chinese New Year. Bid price of BDO soared by around 35% to 22,050yuan/mt on Feb 18 from 16,300yuan/mt on Feb 1.

The benefits behind price surge:

Strong support from demand: most PTMEG plants run at full capacity or above 100% of capacity now, except for some plants that see supply tightness of feedstock. Sales ratio of BDO is high. Demand from GBL market is strong and buyers are forced to take high-priced feedstock to guarantee regular production. Operating rate of PBT market declined around the Spring Festival amid short feedstock and cautiousness on surging price. Demand from TPU market recovered before the Lunar Chinese New Year. PBAT units sustained production during holiday impacted by the ban on free plastic bags.

The stimulus from overseas units: BASF Malaysia and Japan and Lycra US’s BDO units suspended production. Lyondell announced force majeure on BDO units in US and Europe. As a result, supply tightness intensified in Europe and US, which also tightened supply in China. With shorter supply, middlemen realty revised up bid price.

Low stocks: plants that had turnaround in Jan sped up to restart after holiday. Suppliers focused on the term volumes or self-consumption, while little-to-no supply available for spot transactions. Sellers were reluctant to sell amid low stocks.

BDO price soared after Spring Festival as expected. Market’s supply and demand fundamental remains bullish and BDO price sustains strong. However, such jump has exceeded the tolerance of downstream participants.