10 May 2012 00:03 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Spot prices for US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) non-oil grade 1502 fell by an average of 15 cents/lb ($331/tonne, €255/tonne) on weaker demand and declining feedstock butadiene (BD) values for the week that ended on Wednesday.
SBR 1502 spot prices fell to 150-160 cents/lb from 165-175 cents/lb, while oil-enhanced SBR 1712 spot prices fell from 156-161 cents/lb to 145-155 cents/lb.
Producers are seeing demand weaken as tyre producers have ample inventory of material and finished goods. Additionally, economic woes in the US have dampened purchases of replacement tyres, which are responsible for a majority of the US SBR market.
A producer said it has seen continued softness in pricing, with an added downward impact coming from imported material arriving at prices below those that had been sought in the US.
At least one buyer said it had not seen the imported material.
Sources in other markets are projecting that the automobile industry will not see any of the typical slowdowns or shutdowns in the summer months because of growth in that industry.
That could provide a small amount of relief for SBR producers.
On 4 May, May BD contract prices dropped 7-8 cents/lb from the April contract prices and spot prices fell 15 cents/lb.
SBR producers in North America include American Synthetic Rubber Co (ASRC), Ashland, Firestone, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, LANXESS, Lion Copolymer and Negromex.
($1 = €0.77)
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