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19 March 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The price of the industrial chemical butadiene, which is used to produce synthetic rubber, has risen 33 per cent since August last year.
Data from analyst Mintec has shown that “steady global demand and ongoing tight supplies” in Europe and the US has resulted in the cost of the chemical gradually increasing.
The current price of butadiene is $1,468 (£833) per tonne, up from $850 (£511) per tonne in August 2013.
“Recent prices also increased sharply at the end of the Chinese New Year holiday period as activity increased again [leading to higher demand for butadiene],” the company said. “Adding to the already tight supplies, oil cracker manufacturers' maintenance turnaround season begins this month, which could result in supplies being tightened further.”
Demand from the automobile industry for synthetic rubber in the manufacture of tyres is also growing, said Mintec, driving further demand for butadiene.
Mintec predicted the price of the chemical is expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future.