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Italy Leads The European Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) Market in 2013-2017

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The European styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market was equal to 1.067 million tons in 2013. The largest country market within the region was Italy, which in 2013 accounted for a share of 14% of the total in volume terms. Until 2023, the European market is forecast to reach around 1.2 million tons, thus growing at a CAGR of about 0.7% per annum in the period 2018-2023. This is a slight slowdown, compared to the growth at a CAGR of around 1.3% per year, registered in 2013-2017.

The European production of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) is likely to grow to around 1.4 million tons in the medium term. Upward dynamics of the overall installed production capacities in the region are also expected. However, their annual average utilization rates are projected to stay flat. In addition, the market is forecast to remain relatively balanced in terms of supply and demand, also showing moderately upwards dynamics in the medium term.

Due to the large amount of SBR, which goes for the manufacture of tires and tire products, SBR consumption is highly dependent on the automotive industry and tire sectors as a whole. One of the major trends on the global SBR market is linked with the introduction of tire labeling standards in the automotive industry. The introduction of a tire label in the EU has prompted a series of research initiatives into advanced materials, which led to more advanced S-SBR technology. Another emerging trend on the global SBR market is connected with sustainability and environmental concerns, which lead to development of bio-based products and in particular bio-rubber by using bio-butadiene (bio-BD). Regionally, one of the latest concerns on the Indian market is linked with the imposed antidumping duties (ADDs) on SBR of 1500 and 1700 series imported from the European Union, Thailand and South Korea, for a period of five years. What is more, the US also began anti-dumping investigations in July 2016 and subsequently issued preliminary final rates for cash deposit collections on imports from Mexico, Brazil, South Korea and Poland in July 2017.

Merger and acquisition activity has been robust in the chemical industry during the past few years. Although, the consolidation trend has been stable even in uncertain times, the number of global chemical merger and acquisition deals is decreasing. Particularly on the polymethyl methacrylate market, there has been interest in corporate restructurings. For instance, in the first half of 2018, Synthomer Plc, a specialty chemicals company, announced the successful 30 million EUR purchase of the BASF Austrian styrene butadiene rubber business and assets. The paper dispersions business produces styrene butadiene rubber used in the paper packaging industry.

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