European SBR Prices Show Stagnancy Amidst Moderate Demand
European SBR Prices Show Stagnancy Amidst Moderate Demand

European SBR Prices Show Stagnancy Amidst Moderate Demand

  • 24-Apr-2024 3:43 PM
  • Journalist: Motoki Sasaki

Wuppertal (Germany)- SBR prices in Europe remained stable following slight fluctuations in the third week of April 2024. These prices were notably impacted by extended shipping times, with ongoing disruptions in the Red Sea and further tightening of supply chains. As a result, manufacturing supplier delivery times decreased due to fewer shipping delays. Moreover, a significant reduction in input purchases by eurozone manufacturers helped ease pressure on logistics. By the week ending April 19th, SBR prices were recorded at USD 1690 per metric ton, FD Wuppertal in the German market.

Car sales in the European Union declined by 5.2% compared to the previous year in March, marking the first decrease in 2024 and the largest since July 2022. This downturn consequently impacted the demand and sales of SBR required for tires. The decline is attributed to early Easter holidays and a general SBR market downturn. Moreover, the growth in electric vehicle (EV) sales has slowed down, with investments in capacity and technology outpacing demand. Many potential SBR buyers are deterred by the associated costs and ongoing concerns regarding infrastructure.

Meanwhile, sales of hybrid electric vehicles, seen as a compromise between traditional combustion engines and fully electric vehicles, have increased in the European Union consequently impacting the SBR demand. In April 2024, the eurozone's composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.4, a significant improvement from March, indicating a gradual recovery from a prolonged downturn.

In the US, the recent tragic accident involving a container vessel and the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at the end of March continues to affect logistics services to and from the east coast of America. While recovery efforts are in the process, no new bookings between Europe and the Port of Baltimore is being accepted by the port authorities. However, major SBR traders and resources will continue to serve Baltimore through alternative east coast ports such as Newark, Norfolk, and Philadelphia, utilizing road and rail transport where capacity allows.

In the northern European region, the situation at hubs and gateway terminals has been stabilizing after seasonal schedule adjustments. However, there are still some waiting times in Antwerp, London, and Felixstowe due to a combination of weather-related congestion and service conflicts. According to ChemAnalyst, SBR prices are expected to remain stable in the first half of the second quarter of 2024. This stability will likely be influenced by available stockpiles and government sanctions, which will play a pivotal role in determining the overall demand for SBR.

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