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European butanediol(BDO) demand expectations subdued amid global uncertainties
Dec 25, 2018

European butanediol(BDO) players are adopting a wait-and-see approach to 2019 market dynamics, with previous optimism for market growth dwindling as uncertainty festered in late 2018.

Concerns surrounding the US-China trade war, the automotive sector and the European economy have dampened expectations for the butanediol(BDO) market in 2019.

" The outlook, on the whole, people are not as optimistic as they used to be," said a source.

Though market sentiment is slightly more subdued for 2019, some sellers expect demand to increase in the first quarter. High de-stocking in December may leave consumers short of product in January, as logistics issues are expected to continue.

At present, increasing supply length and lower demand in European and Asian butanediol(BDO) are causing a global downtrend.

Asian butanediol(BDO) prices have softened for domestic product and exports, which continue to enter the European market.

This, alongside steady European production in 2018, was able to satify demand, leading to rollovers in both the third-and fourth-quarter contracts.

Demand expectations for 2019 are mixed, as consumer hesitancy in late 2018 softened the prior bullish market sentiment.

"Overall everyone expects 2019 is going to be more or less lower than 2018...2018 was an extremely great year, far better than everyone expected. Especially in engineering plastics. If it stays on the 2018 level then that would be extremely good news." said a source.

Thermosplastic polyurethanes(TPU), spandex, tetrahydrofuran(THF) and polybutylene terephthalate(PBT) show consistently high growth. Engineering plastics are expected to remain dominant once demand from the automotive industry increases with the move to hybrid and electric cars.

Global PBT expansions in recent years indicate a greater need for butanediol(BDO); however, reinvestment in butanediol(BDO) remains to be seen.

butanediol(BDO) is a chemical intermediate used in the production of high performance polymers, solvents and fine chemicals. 

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