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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Updated to Q1 2019
Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) supply in Asia is expected to be mixed in the first quarter of 2019 due to the expected influx of deep-sea SBR cargoes from Europe and the Middle on arbitrage trades. The SBR plants in Asia are expected to continue to run their plants at reduced rates, given the uncertain market outlook amid the ongoing US-China trade war and a slowing Chinese economy.
Demand is expected to remain soft in Asia in the first quarter of 2019 due to a slowing Chinese economy. China is the world’s largest automotive market and the world’s second largest economy. A slowing Chinese economy will weigh on demand for SBR, which is used in the production of tyres for the automotive industry while the uncertainty amid the ongoing US-China trade war is likely to curb spot interest in SBR.
Market volatility in the upstream butadiene (BD) market is an area of concern for European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) players for 2019. Most canvassed sources envisage balanced-to-long supply conditions in 2019 despite a heavy upstream cracker turnaround period in the spring. There is a view that supply levels will be sufficient in 2019 if the export arbitrage from Europe to Asia remains closed.
European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) growth projections of growth range from flat to a 1.5% increase for 2019. While European export opportunities have been limited in 2018, hopes for 2019 are being pinned on the recovery of the Asian market. Recovery is mostly dependent on developments in the US-China trade war. While growth in western Europe has been mostly stable over the last few years, central Europe’s growth in tyre manufacturing is a key area of focus for the market.There have been several announcements for new tyre production in central Europe from companies expanding in this region, which could drive SBR demand.
US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) supply levels are expected to remain relatively steady during the first quarter of 2019. Continued imports will sustain supply levels that will be more than sufficient to meet demand. US costs are expected to decline as the BD market lengthens and crude remains weak.
US styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) demand will pick up in the first quarter of 2019 after typical year-end de-stocking activity. Continued competition from lower-priced Asia imports will affect US producers. However, costs have fallen for domestically produced material, possibly spurring demand. An uncertain economic outlook will weigh on market movements.
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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? During this turbulent period of significant change in the Asian market, what does this mean for you and your company moving forward?
As the dominating market in SBR and other derivatives, join us at the ICIS Asian Butadiene & Derivatives Conference (18 – 19 June, Singapore) and take this unmissable opportunity to meet all key industry players under one roof from across both the Asian and the global industry.