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.
Updated to Q1 2019
Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) supply in Asia was ample in the first quarter of 2019. Most regional SBR makers had surplus inventories and were compelled to run at lower rates in a bid to crimp supply. A slump in demand had resulted in surplus stocks at several regional SBR plants in Asia. Further, a continuous inflow of deep-sea material from Russia, the Middle East and Europe, added to the length of supply in Asia.
Demand for SBR weakened in the first quarter of 2019 due to a slump in the automotive market in China, the world’s largest car market. Falling vehicle sales and production had crimped tyre production and invariably weighed on demand for SBR, a major feedstock in the production of tyres for the automotive industry. Slowing growth in the economies of China and other countries in Asia amid the ongoing tensions in the US-China trade dispute, further weighed on demand.
European Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) supply as remained plentiful despite some upstream constraints. Export-wise, there has been little change as opportunities to send material to Asia are limited due to poor overseas demand. There is export activity from Europe to the US which could be keeping supply in Europe from becoming too lengthy.
Demand was flat or low for most of the quarter. There has been a relaxed approach to securing material among customers. Some have been more pessimistic compared to others and view demand lower than previous expectations. Buying appetite from the Asia export market is poor due to an economic slowdown in China.
US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) supply levels outpaced demand during the first quarter of 2019, as has been the trend for several years. Even tightening of feedstock butadiene (BD) in 2018 did not impact supply levels of SBR. Overcapacity continues, especially given an influx of imports from foreign producers. The growing trend toward S-SBR compounds capacity issues as E-SBR grows out of favour with a push toward high-performance tyres.
US SBR demand was not strong enough to meet supply levels during the first quarter of 2019. Demand was seasonally lower, but a slowing automotive sector and overall economic uncertainty in China has dampened buying appetite and is weighing on global markets. A trend toward S-SBR for use in high-performance tyres continues to shift the market away from E-SBR, so demand continues to fall for the commodity.
Meet with ICIS during Chinaplas 2019Are you attending Chinaplas this 21-24 May? Meet our market experts at booth L67, Hall 10.2 and discover how we can help you to optimise your polymers and rubber buying/selling strategy.
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Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) is the most widely used synthetic rubber. Emulsion SBR contains 23.5% styrene and 76.5% butadiene.
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.
How can we best navigate the volatile butadiene industry despite forecasting difficulties, price unpredictability and numerous other factors when caution seems to be dominating theme for 2019?
With a significant slowdown in Asia caused mainly by tensions between China and the US, as well as overall drop in SBR and ABS demand, what will this mean for the European market going forward along with its position within the global market?
Join us at the 8th ICIS European Butadiene & Derivatives Conference (11 – 12 September, Vienna, Austria) to ensure that you get the most relevant information, including regional updates, a new focus on rubber recycling as well as supply and demand trends from industry leaders plus ample networking time during this turbulent time.