• Sep 10, 2019
  • Published By : Prismane Consulting

Global Butadiene Capacity Additions and Market Overview

Global butadiene demand was estimated to be around 12296 kilo tons in 2018. The global market has grown at an average of 3.2% from 2014 to 2018 mainly due to strong demand from butadiene derivatives like Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR), Polybutadiene Rubber (PBR), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and others in the Asia-Pacific region. The global butadiene market was impacted by the economic meltdown in 2008-2009. The demand declined during that period, with an estimated decline of more than 4% in 2009. The demand bounced back in 2011.

The global butadiene demand is dominated by the production of rubber and latex elastomers, to serve its major market, SBR and Polybutadiene Rubber (PBR). The dynamics in the automotive and tyre industries has a major impact on the global butadiene market.

The downturn observed in the automotive industry in the USA and Western Europe owing to the global economic recession had a severe impact on the automotive industry in 2008-2009. The biggest non-elastomer application of Butadiene is ABS resin accounting for almost 15.7% of the total butadiene demand. It was also expected to one be the fastest growing application during that period. Other major large volume applications of Butadiene like SBR and SB latex have grown at an annual average of 3.3% and 2.7% respectively.

Global Butadiene Demand-Supply Analysis (2014-2025)



In terms of major end-use applications and derivatives market, SBR was expected to lead the consumption with more than 28.6% market share followed by PBR with a market share of around 23.9%. Adiponitrile and ABS followed with 5.1% and 15.7% market share respectively while Nitrile and Polychloroprene elastomers trailed with 7.7% share in global butadiene market.

Butadiene Capacity Additions

The total global butadiene capacities additions from 2019 to 2025 is believed to be around 1736 kilo tons which includes a speculative capacity of 800 kilo tons. Most of these capacities are likely to be added in USA and China. The following figure below shows the planned butadiene regional capacity additions till 2025.

Regional Capacity Additions, Butadiene


The growth of the global butadiene consumption will strongly depend on the economic growth as well as the other dynamics like ethylene production, fluctuations in the energy market and the automotive industry. The growth rate will be dramatically different in major regions of the world. It is forecast that mature economies like Western Europe and Japan will witness lower to marginal growth and countries in Asia-Pacific region including China and India will witness higher than global average growth during the forecast period till 2025. The butadiene growth in the mature economies to an extent will depend on the future improvements and advancements expected in the on-purpose butadiene extraction process and catalyst technologies.

The abundant low-cost feedstocks will continue to create opportunities for export-oriented ethylene and polyethylene plants and influence global ethylene/ polyethylene patterns. Most of new announced polyethylene capacities in USA are destined for China as China is now the biggest polyethylene consuming country in the world. It is estimated that almost over 50 per cent of the new polyethylene capacity production in USA will be for China. However, with new tariffs imposed in August 2018 on trade, the cost-burden is shifting direct US-China trade onto other regional markets, displacing current product flows and potentially threatening the profitability of regional players in the Asia-Pacific region. The effect of the new tariffs on the polyethylene goods and end-use industries is yet to be clearly understood in the long-term. The demand growth in the Chinese polyethylene end-use market will drive the global polyethylene market and any imbalance caused in its imports and exports will have a significant impact in the global polyethylene market, especially USA who is building huge capacities. This will impact the ethylene and butadiene production as well.



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