Styrene butadiene rubber Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS offers trusted and reliable market intelligence for those buying or selling Styrene butadiene rubber or related products in the global Styrene butadiene rubber market.
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Styrene butadiene rubber Overview Transcript
Styrene butadiene rubber or SBR in short is a synthetic rubber; it is used in the production of tyres in the automotive sector, as well as in the footwear industry. It is traded widely in Asia. The major producers are in Northeast Asia, South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan.
It is a spot product that is traded by traders as well as by distributors, consumers and producers.
Its prices are driven primarily by supply and demand. If there is more demand than supply, then obviously prices will rise.
In Asia the SBR prices are to a large extent determined by the natural rubber prices. This is because both natural rubber and SBR are substitutes used in the production of tyres, Which ever goes up or comes down will impact each other.
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Styrene butadiene rubber: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
The Asian styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market is expected to stay weak for the fourth quarter, because of sluggish macroeconomic conditions and a slowing Chinese economy. China is the world’s second-largest economy and its largest automotive market. Downstream tyre makers in China have been operating their plants at reduced rates because of concerns over possible US antidumping duties on China-origin tyres. Falling natural rubber (NR) prices have also weighed on demand for SBR. NR prices have dropped by nearly 40% since January this year to around $1,420/tonne in early October. SBR and NR are substitutes for each other in the production of tyres for the automotive industry.
In Europe, sources anticipate the fourth quarter to be the same as the last. However, when before there was little momentum to push the market either up or down in the last quarter, the usual year-end inventory controls could see demand slowing down earlier than in previous years.
The US-based SBR market participants have continued to express pessimism over market conditions for the rest of the year, with demand still viewed as relatively lacklustre. While falling butadiene (BD) and styrene monomer prices have eased the cost pressure on domestic producers, import levels remained at historic highs.
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Styrene Butadiene Rubber Methodology
About Styrene butadiene rubber
Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) is similar to natural rubber in its resistance to mild solvents and chemicals and, like natural rubber, can be successfully bonded to many materials. No acute health hazards are known or expected for SBR.
Styrene butadiene rubber is the largest volume synthetic rubber. With over 70% of SBR being consumed in the manufacture of tyres and tyre products, demand is very much dependent on this sector.
There are two major types of styrene butadiene rubber – emulsion SBR and solution SBR. There is a trend towards the increasing use of solution SBR as it is able to meet the increasingly stringent specifications in the manufacture of high performance tyres.
SBR is produced by the copolymerisation of butadiene with styrene in the approximate proportion of 3:1 by weight.
Emulsion SBR is produced using a continuous process while solution SBR can be produced on both continuous and batch processes.