08 February 2012 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) February contract prices have increased by €100-250/tonne ($200-333/tonne) because of higher feedstock costs, market participants said on Wednesday.
1500 grade SBR is at €2,500-2,600/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), an increase of €200-250/tonne. 1723 grade SBR is at €2,300-2,350/tonne FD NWE and 1783 grade is at €2,250-2,300/tonne FD NWE, an increase of €100-150/tonne.
Because of weaker demand and higher prices, derivative sales forecasts have been revised, notably for the tyre industry. Exact details have not been given, but SBR sellers and consumers expect 2012 sales to be below that of 2011.
Producers said their customers from the tyre industry have cancelled some orders as tyre demand in Europe has declined.
"On-time payments are becoming scarcer and maintaining cash flow is a big problem for some of our customers," one producer said.
European tyre manufacturers said because the weather has been mild, winter tyre sales were below projected levels. They also expect lower summer tyre sales, because of slowing economic growth.
Tyre sellers added that higher fuel prices can discourage consumers (vehicle owners) from driving or replacing tyres and also deter people from buying new cars.
The non-tyre industry is said to be in a particularly difficult situation because industrial output is slowing and orders for conveyor belts and other non-tyre applications from mines and factories have dropped.
($1 = €0.75)
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