US BD, rubber markets could see rebound in 2014 – consultant

11 December 2013 19:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A rebound for butadiene (BD) and rubber demand could hit the US in 2014-15, a consultant with Nexant said on Wednesday.

A rebound in sales for BD and rubber would largely be fuelled by a surge in replacement tyre consumption, said Randy Rabenhorst of Nexant. He made his comments at the 1st ICIS US Butadiene & Derivatives Conference.

Rabenhorst said that the typical tyre replacement cycle for US consumers is about four years.

With a production boom in cars starting in 2010, following the downturn of 2008, drivers are expected to start replacing tyres on their vehicles.

Long-term, however, the tyre replacement market is expected to fall below the US GDP growth rate.

Rabenhorst said that this is partly because tyre treads are lasting longer and US drivers continue to drive less.

BD is a feedstock for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), which is used to make tyres.

US BD demand has been soft in 2012-13 on the weaker replacement tyre market. In addition, supply has tightened as a result of increased ethane cracking.

By: John Dietrich

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