March US butadiene contracts settle at split rollover: sources

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Houston — All four producers were heard rolling over March contract pricing from February levels this week, sources said Thursday.

TPC Group, ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell each settled March contract butadiene prices at 49 cents/lb ($1,080/mt), stable on the month and in line with nominated levels, sources said.

Shell also rolled over from February to settle March butadiene contracts at 50 cents/lb ($1,102/mt), maintaining a 1-cent/lb ($22/mt) premium, sources said.

A Shell representative said the company had no comment on March butadiene settlements, while requests for comment were not returned by other US producers.

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Many US market participants entered this month expecting higher contract prices for March, with supply constraints serving as a key driver.

At least one US producer was heard taking a planned maintenance this month, sources have said, adding that the second week of March is the expected restart timeline.

That, in turn, was leading some market players to expect the US market to shift from balanced to possibly short during February, potentially providing support for pricing in the region.

Additional pressure on supply and support for pricing was expected throughout Q1 as downstream acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) segment has increased production, sources said.

–Phillipe Craig, phillipe.craig@spglobal.com

–Edited by Pankti Mehta, pankti.mehta1@spglobal.com

Source: S&P Global Platts