June SBR CPs settle down in line with feedstock

04 June 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) June contract prices for all grades have decreased, mirroring upstream market developments, sources said on Wednesday.

SBR grade 1500-1502 settled down by €30-35/tonne according to both buyers and sellers, although one producer said it had rolled over pricing at some already low-priced accounts. However, a rollover was not confirmed by any of the consumers canvassed this week.

Another producer said it had attempted to limit the decrease to €30/tonne but in the end conceded €35/tonne, as its larger customers had already secured minus €35/tonne elsewhere.

SBR grade 1700 series grades settled down by €20-25/tonne compared to May, buyers and sellers confirmed. A couple of producers said they had limited the decrease to €20/tonne, while buyers said they had achieved minus €25/tonne for both SBR grade 1723 and SBR grade 1783.

In general, the SBR market is described as balanced amid a perception of improving demand from the tyre sector, but demand is seen as flat and therefore highly competitive in the non-tyre sector.

Most sources continue to talk of cautious buying or hand-to-mouth buying strategies with the result that spot activity for incremental purchases remains subdued, however some producers have countered this by tailoring production levels closely to contractual demand only. The prospect of more competitively-priced Asian imports continues to weigh on sentiment but with Asian SBR prices creeping higher on firmer upstream regional butadiene (BD) values, some sources expect this influence to wane.

The upstream butadiene (BD) monthly contract price settled down by €35/tonne at €975/tonne FD NWE for June, while the styrene barge contract for June was agreed at €1,360/tonne FOB ARA, down €45/tonne from last month.

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By Nel Weddle