03 April 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) contract prices have rolled over in April as a result of a rollover in the price of feedstock butadiene (BD) this month, sources said on Wednesday.
The price of 1500 grade SBR is at €1,860-1,950/tonne ($2,385-2,500/tonne) free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE), while 1723 is at €1,750-1,850/tonne FD NWE. The price of 1783 grade is at €1,700-1,800/tonne FD NWE.
SBR demand in Europe is poor with no improvement is expected in the near term, as a result of overcapacity in the downstream automotive and tyre industries, major end-users of SBR.
Replacement car tyre sales in Europe fell by more than 10% year on year in 2012, and the same drop is expected in 2013 from last year, sources said. This means that SBR demand will continue to decline. According to industry sources, about 70% of SBR output is consumed by the tyre industry.
So far in 2013, two major tyre manufacturers - Goodyear in France and Bridgestone in Italy - have announced plans to close one tyre plant each. In addition, one tyre producer in Italy has reduced output by 20% and is only producing on four days of the week instead of five. Another tyre maker is operating at 90% utilisation rate. Other tyre manufacturers may also reduce output, sources said.
($1 = €0.78)
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