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.
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Styrene butadiene rubber news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Styrene butadiene rubber analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Styrene butadiene rubber marketplace.
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Styrene butadiene rubber: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2018
Several SBR plants which were shut down or running at lower rates earlier in the second quarter are expected to resume operation and ramp up their operating rates from August onwards. SBR plants in China, Taiwan and South Korea are expected to build up their inventories during the third quarter.
Demand is expected to increase in the third quarter as the tyre makers build up their inventories ahead of the year-end strong demand season. In India, demand for SBR usually picks up from September as tyre makers ramp up their operating rates ahead of the festive season in October and November.
Supply in Europe is mostly expected to be balanced going forward, despite a planned turnaround happening in late July, early August. Versalis will shut its SBR unit at Ravenna in Italy for planned maintenance in late July/early August. There is some uncertainty as to whether export demand to Asia will pick up due to continued downward pressure in the region.
Demand in the third quarter is expected to be reasonable to lower in July and August. Demand during the summer period usually is seasonally slower, especially in August during the summer shutdown period.
Although prices are expected to start falling on domestic SBR, Asian prices of SBR and natural rubber remain well below US prices, which is starting to incentivise buying, boosting supply in the third quarter.
Demand is expected to grow, but slowly, as buyers are likely to be cautious and wait for a lower floor to emerge throughout the quarter. Pressure from lower-priced product could curb some domestic operating rates, but this is not expected.
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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.