26 March 2013 17:25 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European April styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) contract prices could follow the recent feedstock butadiene (BD) settlement and rollover from the previous month, sources said on Tuesday.
Contract negotiations will begin this week and are likely to be finalised before the Easter weekend.
The April BD contract price settled at €1,415/tonne ($1,814/tonne) free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE), reflecting soft demand but constrained supply.
The price of 1500 grade SBR in March settled at €1,860-1,950/tonne FD NWE.
A major SBR producer said sales are likely to remain flat in April and there is little chance for an improvement in demand from the derivative industries.
In contrast, another producer said sales during the second half of 2013 are likely to increase because the bearishness in the market will dissipate. It also expected a rollover in April based on the BD settlement.
The seller said the market in 2013 is not as bullish as expected, but better than in 2012 and sales in the second half of this year will rebound.
Similarly to sellers, buyers expect a rollover in April pending negotiations this week. Buyers from the industrial tyre segment said sales are stable and production capacities have not yet been adjusted downward.
However, one tyre producer has cut operating rates by 20% and it is now only producing four days out of five. Another two producers, Goodyear and Bridgestone, earlier this year announced plant closures in France and Italy, respectively.
($1 = €0.78)
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