Styrene butadiene rubber Prices, markets & analysis
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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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European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) demand continues to be flat because of disappointing tyre replacement sales, while SBR 1500 grade prices have risen by 1% to reflect feedstock cost increases.
Primary feedstock butadiene (BD) has firmed gradually since August, when contract prices bottomed out at €750/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). BD prices have risen due to feedstock costs and supply constraints, rather than increased SBR demand.
Despite flat demand in Europe, since August SBR producers have been enjoying an open arbitrage window with Asia, as local BD and SBR prices have soared since August. However, with Asian SBR prices softening toward the end of October, it could be a question of time before the arbitrage window closes.
Russian exports and spot trading have been less buoyant in Europe with tyre manufacturers and non tyre buyers focused on lowering inventory levels as the market approached the end of the year.
September’s European registrations for new passenger vehicles rose 5.4% year on year, which sparked optimism among tyre manufacturers. However, the increase compares with record volume lows in September last year.
Updated to mid-November 2013
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