Chinese SBR demand analysis 

A preview of the ICIS China Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) Annual Study

ICIS has recently launched the latest version of the China SBR Annual Study, an in-depth report of the year’s developments and hot topics with supply/demand outlook for 2015.

China does not produce enough SBR to export and anti-dumping and anti-subsidy policies imposed by the US government against Chinese tyre products have also put downward pressure on China’s tyre industry, the largest derivative of SBR. So what does the future hold for SBR?

To give you a glimpse of the type of valuable information provided in the annual study, we have made the downstream demand analysis of the annual study available for you to view.   

Downstream demand analysis

China’s rubber and derivative markets have continued to expand in 2014, but the performance has been barely satisfactory. Prices of major rubber varieties remained low in the first eight months of the year. Both the domestic and export markets were under growing inventory pressure.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed that the output of pneumatic tyre covers was 731m pieces in the first eight months of 2014, up by 6.4% year on year. The output of radial pneumatic tyre covers was 407m pieces, a rise of 10.6% over the same period of last year. Although output increased, growth slowed down significantly.

Classified by region, Shandong remained the largest tyre producer in China. The output of pneumatic tyre cover in the province was 269m pieces in the eight months, up by 6.8% year on year, but growth was 9.3% in the whole of 2013. Meanwhile, the share of the output in Shandong fell from 44.1% in 2013 to 36.7%. Output in Tianjin, Liaoning, Anhui, Henan and Sichuan respectively enjoyed a double-digit growth, exceeding 10m pieces in the eight months.

The output of radial pneumatic tyre cover reached 183m pieces in Shandong in the eight months, up by 14.7% from a year ago and accounted for 45% of China’s total. The growth was 17.7 percentage points lower than that in 2013, but the share was largely unchanged.

China’s vehicle production and sales increased in the first eight months of 2014, but the growth slowed down significantly compared with 2013.

According to statistics by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), China’s production and sales of vehicles were 22,116,800 and 21,984,100 units in 2013, up by 14.8% and 13.9% from 2012. The production and sales were 15,218,900 and 15,017,300 units in the first eight months of 2014, up by 8.61% and 7.67% year on year. Of that, the production and sales of passenger cars was respectively 12,661,800 units and 12,459,500 units, up by 11.55% and 10.7% year on year. However, the production and sales of commercial vehicles fell by 3.94% and 5% to 2,557,100 units and 2,557,800 units. In the commercial vehicle sector, the production and sales of buses respectively rose by 6% and 6.6%, while that of trucks fell by 5.5% and 6.8%.

The production and sales of motorcycles were respectively 13,780,800 units and 13,809,200 units in the eight months, down by 7.8% and 8.9% from a year ago, and the falls were slightly lower compared with those during January-July.

The table below shows that the growth in China’s vehicle production has slowed down in 2014, especially the growth in the production of cargo truck and passenger car sectors, which heavily affected demand for NR and BR.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, China’s export volume of rubber products totalled 5,414,000 tonnes in the first seven months of 2014, up by 13.8% year on year. The export value increased by 13.2% from a year ago to $29.54bn.

On 3 June, the American labour union the United Steelworkers (USW) filed a petition to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), for relief against passenger car tyres and light truck tyres originating from China. On 22 July, the ITC determined that there was a reasonable indication that tyres originating from China have been allegedly subsidised and dumped in the US and this has caused material injury to the US tyre industry. In response, the US Department of Commerce said it would continue the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation on Chinese tyres that started on 55 July, with the final results expected to be announced in November 2014 and January 2015 respectively. According to WTOS’ rules, a sunset review is allowed after the expiration of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, to decide whether the duties will continue, be adjusted or terminate. In other words, there is a possibility that the US will continue to impose the duties after the five years.

Interested to find out what else is in the report?

View the online brochure

Comprehensive analysis and forecast for China's SBR market

The ICIS China SBR Annual Study is an in-depth report of the year’s developments and hot topics with a supply/demand outlook for 2015. It provides credible data and analysis to support your annual sales and strategy planning by giving you all of the following: 

  • Comprehensive market overview for Chinese SBR in 2014
  • Detailed regional supply and company profiles, 2013-2015
  • In-depth downstream demand analysis and demand forecasts
  • Detailed import analysis between 2012-2014
  • Expert analysis of price trends and elements driving SBR prices

Key questions answered by the annual study:

  • Analysis of the relevance of China’s SBR market to BR & NR
  • Detailed insight of capacity expansion of domestic SBR market