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US butadiene contracts to rise by 6% in March

February 25/2011

(ICIS) -- US butadiene (BD) contracts will rise by 6% in March, market sources said on Thursday, attributing the increase to limited US supply and rising prices in Asia.

According to sources, producers stepped out this week with proposed increases ranging from 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne, ?80/tonne) to 7 cents/lb, initiatives that will put BD in March at $1.04/lb.

US BD contracts in February rose by 5 cents/lb and 8 cents/lb, following a split settlement that left most of the market settled at 99 cents/lb and a few contracts at 97 cents/lb.

BD prices in Asia are rising because of the higher cost of natural rubber (NR), which is causing tyre producers in the region to use more styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) to offset the increase.

BD is a key feedstock for SBR. The price of SBR in Asia may rise above $4,000/tonne in March - a record high for the product - if demand continued to exceed supply, SBR producers in the region said this week.

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