24 May 2013 16:44 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--To say that the ?xml:namespace>
US BD prices have fallen by nearly 50% in the past 12 months, from a high of 146 cents/lb ($3,219/tonne, €2,479/tonne) in May 2012 to 79 cents/lb. Market expectations are that the June contract price for US BD will fall another 5 cents/lb. US SBR has also seen its price fall nearly 27% over the past year, from an average contract price of $1.62/lb to about $1.19/lb.
The reason for the decline in both markets can be summed up in one word: tyres. The global tyre market is in a severe downturn.
Goodyear reported that it sold 1m fewer tyres in
When consumer confidence is down, people tend to put off purchases of replacement tyres, which account for about 80% of the tyre market. One Goodyear executive, who conducts his own market assessment by walking through shopping mall parking lots, recently said that he has "seen more bald tyres and cord showing than I've seen in 30 years".
Those bald tyres, and sharply declining tyre sales figures, he said, tell him that consumers are delaying purchases of replacement tyres.
The one bright spot for BD and SBR producers is the
Indeed, all three of the
But new-car tyres only account for about 20% of the total tyre market, so robust
Many tyre analysts have written off 2013, saying that sales will not pick up before first half of 2014. But there is one last hope for the 2013 tyre market: the
The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is typically a big selling season for tyre makers. US consumers who have delayed purchasing new replacement tyres often make their purchases now - regardless of finances - because they are taking summer driving vacations.
Further helping to prime the pump for the summer tyre-buying season is
"I've never seen the kind of discounts this close to the summer driving season that are being offered now," said one SBR source.
What does that tell him?
"The market's really struggling."
($1 = €0.77)
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