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Rubber to remain ‘indispensable to global industries’

Global – For many decades, rubber products have been ‘indispensable in the industrial sector’, says German research company Ceresana. And the on-going importance of rubber can be inferred from the fact that global revenues are expected to rise to approximately US$ 56 billion in 2020, it states in its latest market analysis.

Ceresana’s report is intended to provide a basis for the strategic and operational planning of producers, processors and traders, and covers what it describes as ‘the most important types of rubber’, namely styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), polybutadiene rubber (BR), acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), butyl rubber (IIR), ethylene propylene diene rubber (EPDM), polychloroprene rubber (CR) and polyisoprene rubber (IR).

In 2012, more than 5.4 million tonnes of SBR was processed while in second place was BR, which accounted for ‘about a quarter of global market volume that year’, according to the research company. It cites tyre production as the main application area for both rubbers, representing almost 70% of material consumption last year. Meanwhile, NBR is mostly used in the manufacturing of industrial products such as hoses, cog wheels and belts because of its resistance to oils, fats and fuels. EPDM is typically processed into gaskets, hoses and cables used in vehicles.

In 2012, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for around half of global rubber consumption as well as for some 47% of output, notes Oliver Kutsch, ceo of Ceresana. ‘North America ranked second, closely followed by Western and Eastern Europe,’ he adds. And analysts at Ceresana expect countries in the Asia-Pacific region to continue to gain market share. ‘Until 2020, demand for individual product types is expected to increase by between 2% and 7.7% per year,’ the report outlines. The automobile industry is said to be a ‘very influential factor’ for future growth, as well as the demand for industrial products and construction material.

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