India NBR offers rise on BD surge; demand driven by agricultural sector

Author: Helen Yan

2020/07/30

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers for acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) in India rose on the back of surging cost of feedstock butadiene (BD) and improved demand from the agricultural sector.

Spot NBR offers for August have been revised higher by about $20-50/tonne due to continued erosion in margins, market sources said.

On 23 July, spot prices averaged $1,290/tonne CFR (cost & freight) India, up $15/tonne week on week, ICIS data showed.

For key feedstock BD, spot prices have surged by about 33% since early July to $500/tonne CFR northeast (NE) Asia on 24 July, ICIS data showed.

Demand for NBR is driven mainly by the agriculture rice roller sector in India, while demand from the automotive sector has remained in the doldrums.

NBR is used in a wide range of applications including oil seals, gaskets, grommets, and transmission belts in the automotive industry as well as rice rollers in the agricultural sector.

“We expect demand to pick up from the agricultural rice roller sector which is doing well,” a supplier said.

A dumping probe on NBR imports from China, the EU, Japan and Russia is ongoing.

Local producer Apcotex, which has a 16,000 tonne/year NBR capacity, has filed the petition for the investigation, after which the Ministry of Commerce issued a notification on 26 May that the probe will be initiated.

India’s demand for NBR is around 60,000 tonnes/year, market sources said.

Dumping investigations usually take up to year to complete, although there is talk that the results of the probe may be finalized earlier due to the devastating impact of the pandemic on the Indian economy.

The Indian government has initiated dumping investigation into a whole range of imported products to protect its local producers and domestic economy which have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, market sources said.

Focus article by Helen Yan

Photo: Farmers replanting paddy saplings in a field on the outskirts of Prayagraj, India. Agriculture is the main livelihood of more than 50% percent of the country's population. 02 Jul 2020 (Photo by Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP/Shutterstock)

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