The ICIS styrene butadiene rubber report (SBR) is published in Asia, China, Europe and the US. Our network of locally-based reporters gather market intelligence to published independent price assessments for 1502 non-oil grade and 1712 oil-extended grade in Asia, China and the US, while Europe's grades are 1500, 1723 and 1783. There are contract and spot prices, depending on region.
News and analysis gives you trustworthy information to use while making those vital commercial choices. Commentary can include economic news, spot business, regional updates, feedstock developments as well as demand and supply trends.
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 Q1 2017
In Asia, demand for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) is expected to remain firm in the first quarter of 2017 because of robust automotive and tyre sales in China and improved vehicle and tyre sales in India and Southeast Asia. China is the world’s largest automotive market while India and Southeast Asia have are strong growth potential as emerging markets.
In Asia, SBR prices have been trending up, in line with the soaring feedstock butadiene (BD) costs, which have since early November 2016. However, the Asia SBR price uptrend may start to slow from late January during the Lunar New Year holiday. Several countries in Asia celebrate Lunar New Year and the key Chinese market will be closed from 27 January to 2 February.
European SBR prices will continue to follow upstream monomer pricing movements, which rose significantly at the start of 2017. European buyers, however, have questioned the sustainability of the relentless upward pricing trend as tyre demand was flat at the end of 2016. Supply is likely to remain limited if European sellers continue to export spot material at more attractive prices to Asia. The arbitrage between Europe and Asia will remain open if the price hikes seen in Asia continue throughout the quarter.
In the US, SBR prices are expected to follow the direction of upstream BD and styrene monomer (SM), which so far appear bullish for the first quarter.
Supply is expected to remain plentiful and demand to continue to be steady.
However, high prices in Asia may continue to allow US suppliers to capitalise on the wide arbitrage and export volumes, something that seldom occurs, as well as curb the number of imports coming into the US.
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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.