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Updated to Q4 2016
US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices rose in the fourth quarter, pressured up by higher costs for main feedstock butadiene (BD).
Otherwise, overall supply and demand remained mostly steady, with domestic production and imports continuing to be plentiful for domestic consumption. Sources said they had seen some growth this year – although only slight. Nevertheless, the market typically begins slowing down toward the year for the wintertime lull and as participants tend to keep lean inventories for tax purposes.
The US SBR market did see one phenomenon toward the end of the year. Asia SBR prices had been high because of high feedstock BD costs, as well as high prices for natural rubber (NR), which can be a substitute for SBR in the production of tyres. The wide price gap between the US and Asia enabled some suppliers to export to Asia amid an open arbitrage.
In the meantime, market participants are waiting for the preliminary determination in an antidumping investigation regarding imports of emulsion SBR from Brazil, Korea, Mexico and Poland. A preliminary determination is expected in late December, with final determinations expected during the first half of 2017.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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