US SBR contract prices rise on BD; spot prices fall on imports

15 August 2018 22:03 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON--US August contract styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) prices rose on higher feedstock costs, while spot prices fell amid ample supply and pressure from imports.

US August 1502 non-oil grade SBR contract prices were assessed on Wednesday at 96.00-103.00 cents/lb ($2,116-2,271/tonne), up from 95.50-102.50 cents/lb in July.

The slight increase tracked a rise in upstream butadiene (BD) August contract prices.

Costs for BD are the largest factor for US SBR contract prices. Non-oil grades of SBR typically absorb about 75% of the movement of BD.

Despite the increase in BD feedstocks, US spot SBR prices fell amid ample supply and attractively priced imports.

US 1502 non-oil grade SBR spot prices were assessed at 85-90 cents/lb on Wednesday, down from 88-95 cents/lb in prior weeks.

Low demand in China has freed up inventory for export to European, Latin American and US markets. The length also has softened prices in Asia, which has discouraged US exports into the region.

In the US market, demand also has been sluggish in the summer after falling off from a strong first quarter. US auto sales in July were slightly down from the same month in the prior year, according to research from AutoData.

The lower demand and availability of imports is keeping pressure on US spot prices.

Major North American SBR producers include Dynasol, Goodyear Tire & Rubber and Lion Elastomers.

Image above shows tyres, which are made of SBR. Photo by Mood Board/REX/Shutterstock

By Jessie Waldheim