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Germany's PBR Market: Fluctuations Amidst Automotive Surge and Construction Slowdown
Germany's PBR Market: Fluctuations Amidst Automotive Surge and Construction Slowdown

Germany's PBR Market: Fluctuations Amidst Automotive Surge and Construction Slowdown

  • 20-Nov-2023 1:38 PM
  • Journalist: Harold Finch

Hamburg, Germany: The Polybutadiene Rubber (PBR) market in Germany has been witnessing a rollercoaster ride in November, experiencing a significant plunge in the first half of the month before stabilizing towards the latter part. These price fluctuations in the PBR market occurred amidst a backdrop of contrasting developments within the automotive industry and Construction sector. Germany, a major hub for automotive production, saw a 5% surge in new passenger car registrations in October when compared to the previous year. This rise contributed to a notable 13.5% year-over-year increase over the initial ten months of 2023. The positive momentum in the German automotive sector resonated across Europe, indicating signs of recovery. This resurgence led to an increased demand for PBR, aligning with a rebound in the used car market across the continent. Several European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, experienced substantial growth in their sales-volume index (SVI), with double-digit increases witnessed in multiple markets, further generating the need for PBR. Additionally, three major European markets observed significant double-digit growth in new car registrations, showcasing the sector's progress despite grappling with supply chain challenges.

However, amidst these positive indicators, the PBR market reflected weak sentiments due to sluggishness in the construction sector. The construction industry's slowdown mirrors the broader global market challenges stemming from tightening monetary policies and soaring inflation rates, impacting investments across various sectors worldwide. Notably, the international construction sector, apart from China which expanded by 5.5% in 2022, experienced marginal growth of just 0.6% in the same period. The downturn in US construction activity and a European slowdown, particularly due to energy crises, contributed to the overall weaker global performance. Hence, the demand for PBR remained weak, causing a plunge in its market value.

Furthermore, Butadiene (feedstock of PBR) prices showcased stability in the European market, with a slight downturn supported by weak upstream prices. Regional demand remained lacklustre, leading to reduced factory production downstream, which continued to influence Butadiene price trends. Accumulated inventories of PBR in the regional market, coupled with a slowdown in consumption, put additional pressure on producers to clear stockpiles ahead of the year-end. Despite ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, Brent crude oil prices remained relatively stable. However, the decrease in feedstock Naphtha impacted the cost support for Butadiene in the domestic market, resulting in a slight decline in prices in Germany. Hence, as the prices of feedstock Butadiene remained stable to marginally decline, the production cost of PBR slumped, eventually resulting in its reduced market value.

As per ChemAnalyst's anticipations, “The price of PBR might slump until the end of this year on the back of weak demand and cost support, followed by a yearly destocking in December.”

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