Styrene butadiene rubber Prices, markets & analysis
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Styrene butadiene rubber China Transcript
The styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) China weekly report covers non-oil SBR and oil-extended SBR.
The key prices quoted are Chinese yuan prices at warehouse East, North, South and North East China and the US dollar price cost insurance freight (CIF) China.
The report gives an excellent and comprehensive overview of the market. It covers the changes in market sentiment, changes in supply and demand and looks upstream to feedstocks and downstream to customer industries and products.
It is important for the report to look upstream because the price of SBR is largely driven by the price of butadiene.
The report also watches alternatives such as natural rubber which competes in tyres.
ICIS keeps closely in touch with major producers to obtain information about ex-works prices first hand.
The report also covers the changing of routine rates of plants, projects and shut downs. It captures information about the flows of import cargoes to China especially from Korea and Russia. These two countries account for around 50% of China’s SBR imports.
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China styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices generally rose from mid-August to mid-November on improved purchases from downstream buyers during August and September. SBR prices were assessed at an average of yuan (CNY) 12,850/tonne (EXWH east China) for non-oil grade SBR 1502 on 11 November, and it was about CNY550/tonne up from mid-August. SBR prices had been spiralling upward to gain more than CNY2,000/tonne by mid-October, but followed a reversal of this uptrend because of demand from tyre makers slowing down.
Most traders emptied inventories in October and retreated to the sidelines this week because of their uncertain market outlook. Some downstream tyre producers said that their feedstock inventories could support production till mid December. Together with poor demand from speculative traders, this pressured down the SBR prices. SBR prices were expected to fell on falling feedstock cost and increase supply in November.
Feedstock butadiene (BD) prices have been fallen since mid October. BD prices were assessed at an average of CNY10,750/tonne (EXWH east China) on 11 November, which is about CNY2,150/tonne down from mid-October. The downtrend has put pressure on the SBR market.
The overall operating rate of China SBR producers rose to around 57% in November as some plants restart. Fushun Petrochemical’s 200,000 tonne/year SBR plant ran at 50% after restarts from early November. Lanzhou Petrochemical’s 150,000 tonne/year SBR unit ran at around 67% after restarts from the end of October. The increased supply is likely to cast a cloud on the domestic SBR market.
Updated to mid-November 2013
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