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US Polybutadiene Rubber Price on a Rise, South-East Asia Feels the Heat

US Polybutadiene Rubber Price on a Rise, South-East Asia Feels the Heat

  • 14-Apr-2021 12:00 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

An unusual trend has been noted in the first quarter of 2021, wherein the trade volumes and commodity prices of certain US petrochemicals offered to the South-east Asian region seem to have reported an abrupt spike towards the end. Following the trend, high priced US exports of Polybutadiene Rubber (PBR) are being heard arriving at the key south-east Asian ports.

Expansion in trade volumes has been credited to somewhat recovered economies in Asia, as various vaccines have been rolled out to the most susceptible class of population and different covid related protocols are still intact which not only reduces events of mass infections but also allows public and private health institutions some breathing space.

Price for Polybutadiene Rubber was last assessed at USD 1600-1650 per MT CFR SEA for March 2021, whereas April price is expected to rise to the range of USD 1680-1750 per MT for different grades of the product. Rising cost of the feedstock Butadiene and surging demand from both domestic and foreign markets have been the key drivers for the rubber price hike.

Arlanxeo, a key synthetic rubber manufacturer delivered voluminous consignments of PBR to India in the month of March at around USD 1600 per MT to Goodyear and Ceat, two of the most popular tyre producers. Recently, several tyre companies in India have increased their tyre rates by 2-4%  and have underpinned hopes of further increases in April due to a strong increment in the prices of the key raw materials.

Delayed arrival of the shipments has been reported by several tyre manufacturing firms in India as some US automotive suppliers are panicking to secure shipments before the market further tightens. The global tyre maker Goodyear has also raised concern due to escalating raw material prices such as Natural Rubber and Butadiene and steadily rising Carbon Black prices, which are still way above pre-COVID-19 levels. 

As per ChemAnalyst, “The automotive sector has been the worst hit sector of the US economy where there was no new significant production in 2020. However, the picture seems to change gradually as manufacturers report return of demand while the production is gearing up to return to the pre-pandemic production levels.

Demand for polybutadiene rubber (PBR) specifically from the tyre manufacturers has been on the rise as pandemic restrictions have eased in major economies. While demand restores to normalcy, US PBR producers await the restart of some Butadiene capacities which are shut for more than a month.”

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