AFPM '14: US SBR market not majorly affected by East West restart

30 March 2014 02:00  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--The restart of the former Lion Copolymer styrene-butadiene-rubber (SBR) plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, should not have a major effect on the industry this year, market sources said on Saturday.

Lion shut down the 130,000 tonne/year SBR plant in late January because of unfavourable economic conditions, and operations resumed this week under the new management of East West Copolymer & Rubber, a company newly formed by former Lion CEO Greg Nelson.

US demand for SBR has been relatively steady, and the shutdown did not tighten supply enough to significantly raise demand, an SBR producer said on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

Additionally, most supply negotiations for 2014 were closed in December of 2013, and many customers have turned to other suppliers, so East West's share of the market would be limited.

In the meantime, some customers have said they may purchase material from East West on a spot basis.

North American SBR producers include American Synthetic Rubber Co, Ashland, East West Copolymer & Rubber (Lion Copolymer), Firestone Polymers, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, LANXESS and Negromex.

SBR is used mostly in the production of tyres, as well as other applications including adhesives, floor tiles and shoes.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

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By: Tracy Dang
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