Healthy export demands from overseas will keep the huge
European butadiene market afloat as local demand wanes,
according to a new report by business intelligence group GBI
While the Middle East has downstream plants in the works to
produce styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS), Europe is expected to rely on the US
to fuel its butadiene industry, according to the
Europe and the Middle Easts demand for butadiene has
steadily been increasing over the last decade, primarily led by
advanced countries from Western Europe, such as Germany and
However, the large populations and growing economies of
countries like Russia and other nations of Eastern Europe mean
that they also have huge consumption potential.
Europes demand has historically overshadowed that of
the Middle East, and this trend is expected to continue in the
future. The European region is predicted to account for more
than 90% of Europe and the Middle Easts butadiene demand
New downstream plants are also due to come online in Iran
and Saudi Arabia during the near future, and this is expected
to reduce the proportion of butadiene demand from Western
Europe in the forecast period.
However, Europes butadiene exports will still grow,
due to strong demand from the US, which is increasingly
becoming a strong market for European butadiene exports,
according to the study.
The newfound love for shale gas in the US is leaving their
petrochemicals industry in the dark,
as crude oil feedstock for butadiene production
goes out of vogue, and Europe is reaping the benefits.
The US is starting to increase its use of shale gas as an
energy source instead of crude oil, and since shale gas
contains less C4 hydrocarbons (which, when cracked, produce
butadiene), the US is experiencing an increasing shortage of
As a result, local butadiene consumers are increasingly
relying on foreign imports.
The European butadiene market has not experienced very
healthy growth, due to waning local demand. As a result, the
increased butadiene demand from US consumers presents a readily
available market for European producers.
As the situation stands, European butadiene producers are
going to be a major source of supply to North America in
future, say the researchers.
Butadiene downstream segments include the polybutadiene,
ABS, and SBR sectors.
Butadiene is a raw material used in making a wide variety of
synthetic rubbers and polymer resins, and is most commonly used
in the production of SBR, which is used to manufacture
automobile tires, adhesives, sealants, coatings and other
rubber articles such as shoe soles.