SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Deep-sea butadiene (BD)
supply to Asia will dwindle following explosions that hit a
major US plant, with shipments to the
region in December likely to be affected.
More than 10,000 tonnes of US cargoes expected
to head to Asia in two separate vessels in
December were supposed to come from TPC Group’s
BD plant that was hit by the blasts, market
TPC Group’s BD plant in Port Neches, Texas was
hit by the first
explosion at 07:00 GMT on 27 November,
injuring three people.
The plant has two lines with a combined
capacity of 426,000 tonnes/year, according to
“TPC has a massive BD capacity, and with the
declaration of a force majeure, the BD plant
may likely be down for a long time,” a trader
Spot discussions for January-arrival cargoes in
Asia may be affected, but any impact for
December would be limited, another trader said.
“BD capacity is long in [the] US, so I expect
there should not be significant impact in
middle term,” he said.
On 22 November, BD spot prices in Asia were
assessed stable week on week at $875/tonne CFR
(cost and freight) northeast (NE) Asia, after
plunging by 30% from early September, ICIS data
An influx of
deep-sea cargoes from Europe and the US in
recent months, along with weak demand, has been
depressing BD prices in Asia.
Poor demand prevails in the downstream
synthetic rubber (SR) and acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS) markets amid
uncertainties on whether a deal will be signed
between the US and China to resolve their
16-month long trade war.
Focus article by Helen Yan
Photo: A port in Tokyo, Japan (By Koji
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