LONDON (ICIS)--The share of emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (E-SBR) in world synthetic rubber demand is expected to gradually fall to 73% in 2017 from 75% in 2012 as high-performance solution synthetic butadiene rubber (S-SBR) gradually gains ground, a bank said on Friday.
“However, the E-SBR proportion in meeting demand versus the total for S-SBR may fall at a slower rate if natural rubber prices remain at low levels, given that E-SBR is a better substitute versus natural rubber,” said Dominik Niszcz, an analyst at Vienna-based Raiffeisen Centrobank (RCB).
The market share of S-SBR is climbing largely because tyre producers are aiming to meet demand for higher-quality products driven by environmental regulations, such as lower noise and lower fuel consumption requirements, although the economic downturn's effect on consumers' purchasing power has held up the rise of S-SBR given its higher cost compared to E-SBR, RCB said.
“While higher-quality rubbers needed for the production of labelled tyres may increase quicker compared to E-SBR, [through to 2017] we still see growth in demand for emulsion rubber in all major regions,” Niszcz said.
Total annual consumption of elastomers globally stands at approximately 22m tonnes, with almost 75% consumed in tyres, the bank said.
Natural rubber is used in 52% of tyre production, E-SBR in 18%, S-SBR 6%, polybutadiene rubber 15%, butyl rubber 6% and other materials 3%, it added.
North East Asia accounts for 50% of global tyre production, South East Asia 10%, India 6%, North America 12%, Western Europe 11%, Eastern Europe 5% and other locations 6%, RCB said.