US December SBR contracts fall 16 cents/lb on feedstock, supply

14 December 2011 22:47  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) spot and December contract prices were assessed lower because of a drop in feedstock costs, a seasonal downturn in demand and ample supply.

December US SBR contract prices fell by 16 cents/lb ($353/tonne, €272/tonne) from November. This was the fourth consecutive decrease in monthly contract assessments.

The average contract price for non-oil grade 1502 in August was 186.5 cents/lb, while the average contract price for oil-extended grade 1712 in August was 165 cents/lb.

The December contract price range for non-oil grade 1502 is 112-118 cents/lb and the contract price range for oil-extended grade 1712 is 94-100 cents/lb.

The spot price range for non-oil grade 1502 is 115-130 cents/lb, while the spot price range for oil-extended grade 1712 is 100-110 cents/lb.

Several market participants described market conditions as loose, with ample material available, and prices going up in China, based on increased feedstock butadiene (BD) prices abroad.

In the US, feedstock costs BD and styrene have fallen for several months, and when coupled with the seasonal decline in demand, US prices could only go down.

One participant looks for BD contracts to rollover in January or creep upward slightly, which could be reflected in future spot prices and the January SBR contract prices.

Another participant agrees there could be a rollover in January for BD contracts, but anticipates a downward settlement for BD.

Several crackers are scheduled for maintenance turnarounds and that could tighten the supply of BD.

Tighter BD supplies could lead to an increase in BD, and subsequently SBR, prices, if the demand is present.

If demand stays as it is, tighter BD supplies might not have as significant an impact.

Feedstock BD prices fell for fourth consecutive month with its December contract, and styrene prices fell for the third consecutive month for its November contract.

US SBR producers include American Synthetic Rubber, Ashland, Firestone, Goodyear, LANXESS and Lion Copolymer.

($1 = €0.77)

For more on SBR visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Wesley Busch
+1 713 525 2653

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