A look into China’s polybutadiene rubber (PBR)
import market 

A preview of the ICIS China PBR Annual Study

ICIS has recently launched the latest version of the China PBR Annual Study, an in-depth report of the year’s developments and hot topics, with a supply/demand outlook for 2015.

From being one of the world’s largest importer of PBR, 80% of China’s domestic demand is now met by local production. Given this sudden change in trading dynamics, how are global exporters affected? To give you a glimpse of the type of valuable information provided in the annual study, we have made a section available for you to view.   

Import overview

In recent years, domestic PBR supply increased while imports gradually decreased along with capacity expansion in China. The import volumes were largely stable during 2012-2013, but the situation changed in 2014. Some downstream producers were more inclined to purchase domestic cargoes in the absence of an import price advantage. Moreover, the US government has launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on tyres originating from China. The orders for tyres from the US decreased as a result, which adversely affected the PBR imports by the trade mode of processing with imported materials. As such, ICIS China expects China’s PBR import volume in 2014 to be lower than 2013.

 2014 Import analysis

Import by origin

South Korea-origin cargoes dominated the China import market in 2014, accounting for around 40% of the total import volume, but lower than the figure of 44% last year.

Some market shares were occupied by domestic cargoes because of ample supply and lower prices, and the situation is expected to continue in the future. In addition, China’s tyre exports is expected to be heavily affected by the US’ anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, which will in turn exert impact on the PBR imports.


China mainly imports PBR from the following 14 producers:

Import by customs

According to data in 2014, import volumes via the Qingdao customs, Nanjing customs, Shanghai customs and Huangpu customs accounted for 65% of China’s total import. Although the share of Qingdao customs fell to below 30% of the total import for the first time, it remains the largest customs for PBR imports in China.

Nanjing customs and Shanghai customs respectively ranked the second and third, with cargoes imported via the two mainly provided to tyre producers in east China.

Import by trade mode

There was a lack of significant changes in the trade modes for China’s PBR imports in 2014. The mode of processing with imported materials remained the major one, with volumes by the mode accounting for about 50% of the total. The share of general trade increased to around 32% in 2014, while that of transiting goods of warehouse in bonded area fell to around 10% mainly because the arbitrage room of imported cargoes to other regions narrowed. Some traders showed little interest in the mode as a result and some of them even retreated from the sector.

2015 Supply forecast

Expansion projects in the future

Some new PBR units in China will remain under construction from the end of 2014 to 2015. This is expected to aggravate domestic overcapacity  amid limited improvement in downstream demand. Therefore, even if these units are completed, whether they can be brought on stream remains unknown. High vacancy rate of units features in the domestic PBR sector because of weak PBR prices.

Import forecast

China’s PBR import volume is not expected to increase in 2015 because of an overcapacity and competitive prices in the domestic market. Meanwhile, China’s exports of tyres are expected to decrease because the US has launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on tyres originating from China, which could affect the PBR imports by the mode of processing with imported materials. As a result, PBR imports are likely to fall further in 2015, but the decrease will be slower than that of 2014.

Interested to find out what else is in the report?

View the online brochure

Comprehensive analysis and forecast for China's PBR market

The ICIS China PBR Annual Study is an in-depth report of the year’s developments and hot topics with a supply/demand outlook for 2015. It provides credible data and analysis to support your annual sales and strategy planning by giving you all of the following: 

  • Comprehensive market overview for Chinese PBR in 2014
  • Detailed regional supply and company profiles, 2013-2015
  • In-depth downstream demand analysis and demand forecasts
  • Detailed import analysis between 2012-2014
  • Expert analysis of price trends and elements driving PBR prices

Key questions answered by the annual study:

  • Analysis of the relevance of China’s PBR market to BR & NR
  • Detailed insight of capacity expansion of domestic PBR market