Nitrile Rubber to Gain on Automobile, Industrial Growth

19 May 2011 • by Natalie Aster

Nitrile rubber market is set to exceed 645,000 tons by the year 2017. Nitrile Butadiene Rubber or nitrile rubber is a copolymer of butadiene and acrylonitrile featuring high strength and exceptional balance of chemical, oil, alcohol, cold, heat, and abrasion resistance that allows it to perform well in wide range of industrial and automotive applications. NBR finds extensive application in production of automotive transmission belts, O-rings, non-latex gloves, oil seals, hoses, V belts, gaskets, printer's roller, synthetic leather, and chemical plant lining, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

The research report titled “Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR): A Global Strategic Business Report points out that the nitrile rubber market was hit by the recessionary trends in global economy that began in late 2007. Although, the NBR market displayed dormancy in recent years owing to poor economic conditions, the industry displays tremendous potential, with NBR continuing to be a part of the complex family of workhorse elastomers.

The industry faced severe after-effects of the global economic slowdown that began in late 2007 and assumed debilitating proportions in 2008 and 2009. A key reason for the collapse in NBR demand was attributable to the downslide in automobile production as a result of fall in automobile sales, primarily in high-income countries. The severely hit construction sector also led to a significant drop in demand for NBR. In addition, the soaring prices for feedstock butadiene forced companies to cut down on NBR production. The effect of the increase in prices of the feedstock was also intensified by the weakening dollar.

Asia-Pacific represents the largest market worldwide, as stated by the new market research report on Nitrile Butadiene Rubber. The region is also forecast to be the fastest growing market for NBR. Countries in the eastern and central Europe, Latin America, and Asia have emerged as the major hubs for synthetic rubber consumption.

China, Japan and US continue to be the leading consumers of rubber worldwide. China, in particular, is the epicenter of growth, owing to robust growth in domestic production of industrial goods and motor vehicles. However, strong growth witnessed in the first half of the decade is portended to slow down, as motor vehicular production decelerates and market matures. Other regions in Asia-Pacific are also expected to clock significant growth in consumption, owing to healthy economic growth, growing vehicular production, and increasing number of tire manufacturing plants. With China’s self-sufficiency rate of NBR production being as low as around 30%, major portion of the domestic demand is met through imports. With signs of stabilization in the automotive and construction sectors, consumption of NBR in the US and West European countries is projected to increase from the year 2011.

Select major players profiled in the report include Omnova Solutions, Industrias Negromex S.A., JSR Corporation, Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd., Lanxess AG, LG Chem Ltd., Nantex Industry Company Ltd., PetroChina Company Limited, Polimeri Europa SpA, Sibur Holding JSC Synthos SA, and Zeon Corporation.

Source: Commodity Online


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