Trends in Asia-Pacific Trade in Butadiene in 2018

Lower imports into Asia-Pacific’s two top markets, Korea and China, were reflected in the region’s trade in 2018. Imports from other regions were down and intra-regional trade volume was flat with the prior year.

Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade was steady at 784,000 tons, unchanged. Imports from other regions, primarily Western Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, fell 11%, to 469,000 tons, based on latest available data.

Korea was the region’s largest import market, bringing in a total from all sources of 420,000 tons down 1% from 2017. Imports fell off sharply in December to 20,000 tons, the average price dropping to $1158/ton. (Volume rose to 44,000 tons in January 2019, then eased in February, to 33,000 tons. The average price steadied in February at the December value of $1158/ton.)

Korea’s imports from several regional suppliers and also top supplier, Brazil, were down; imports from Netherlands, Belgium and Saudi Arabia, among other, increased.

China was the Asia-Pacific region’s second largest importer of butadiene, with 320,000 tons in 2018, down 18%. Top suppliers included Korea, Netherlands, Taiwan and Indonesia, imports from all of which declined in 2018.

From International Trader Publications’ Butadiene World Trade Report, an on line Report updated daily and capturing nearly all of the world’s trade in butadiene.