Synthetic Rubber Market

DuPont (U.S) and SABIC (Saudi Arabia) are the Leading Players in the Synthetic Rubber Market

The global synthetic rubber market size is estimated to be USD 19.1 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 23.2 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 4.0% between 2021 and 2026. The recovery of the automotive sector across the world is driving the synthetic rubber market during the forecast period.

Synthetic rubber is manufactured by the polymerization of monomers. Typically, styrene and butadiene are polymerized to produce Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR) and Polybutadiene Rubber (BR). Subsequent developments have introduced other monomers such as ethylene and propylene, which are used in the production of EPDM. The synthetic rubber market is driven by the demand from the tire industry. Tires and non-tire automotive applications are the largest segments of the market. The only restraints faced by the synthetic rubber industry are the health hazards associated with it and the environmental regulations imposed on its manufacturing.

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The synthetic rubber market is segmented on the basis of type as styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), polybutadiene Rubber (BR), styrene block copolymer (SBC), ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM), butyl rubber (IIR), acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR). Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR) is the highest volume synthetic rubber for general purposes. SBR is formed by the polymerization of styrene and monomers of butadiene.

The end use application of synthetic rubber are tire, automotive (non-tire), footwear, industrial goods, consumer goods, and textile. In tire application, SBR type is widely used; other types of synthetic rubber are also used depending on the type of tire being manufactured. SBR is a cost-effective alternative for natural rubber, with better abrasion resistance and inherent hysteresis.

The major industry players are adopted acquisitions, expansions, joint venture, and new product development as growth strategies in the last four years. The leading players in the market are Sinopec (China), DuPont (U.S), The Dow Chemical Company (U.S), ExxonMobil (U.S), Kumho Petrochemical Company Ltd (South Korea), Trinseo (U.S), Zeon Corporation (Japan), Nizhnekamskneftekhim (Russia), The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (U.S), SIBUR (Russia), Mitsui Chemical Inc. (Japan), LG Chemical (South Korea), LANXESS (Germany), JSR Corporation (Japan), SABIC (Saudi Arabia), Denka Company Ltd. (Japan), and Asahi Kasei Corporation (Japan).

China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, popularly known as Sinopec Corp, is an integrated energy and chemical company in China. The company deals with the production and supply of petroleum, natural gas, petrochemical, and chemical products. It offers a wide range of products & services in various businesses, including exploration & oil production, refining & sales, chemicals, and research & development. The company offers SBC elastomers under its chemical segment. 

DuPont manufactures technology-based materials, ingredients, and solutions for several high-growth markets such as electronics, transportation, building & construction, health & wellness, food, and work safety. The company offers its products under five segments: Electronics & Imaging, Transportation & Industrial, Nutrition & Bioscience, Safety & Construction, and non-core. The company provides dedicated product lines for various industries such as automotive, building & construction, energy, and packaging. The company has a wide presence in over 70 countries and has production facilities in over 40 countries globally.

SABIC supplies products through its business unit: Petrochemicals and Specialties, Agri-Nutrients, and Metals. Mono-ethylene glycol, MTBE, polycarbonate, polyetherimide, granular urea, methanol, polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene terephthalate, and engineering plastics, among other products, are offered through its business segments. The company manufactures two types of synthetic rubbers with the trade name SABIC EPDM and SABIC BR. The company has its presence in the US, Europe, and Asia. The company has eight manufacturing plants in North America, 13 in Europe, 3 in Asia, and 1 in South America.

The synthetic rubber market in 2020 declined by 11.2%, in terms of volume, compared to 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Import and export of synthetic rubber decline due to government restriction and decline in the demand.  The production of the automobile was halted due to disruption in the supply chain. With the declining production of automobiles, the demand for synthetic rubber also decreased.

The companies have initiated the following developments:

  • In March 2020, Asahi Kasei Company acquired Veloxis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (US). This acquisition will strengthen the presence of the company in the pharmaceutical sector.
  • In September 2019, Sibur and Sinopec entered into a joint venture to produce nitrile rubber in Russia to meet the local demand.
  • In January 2018, SABIC agreed to acquire approximately 83 million shares in Clariant AG, a global specialty chemicals company, from 40 North and Corvex Management. The acquisition of this approximately 24.9% stake in Clariant AG will make SABIC the largest Clariant AG shareholder and represents another key milestone in SABICs growth and diversification strategy to become the world leader in chemicals.

Related Reports:

Synthetic Rubber Market by Type (SBR, BR, SBC, EPDM, IIR, NBR) Application (Tire, Automotive (Non-tire), Footwear, Industrial Goods, Consumer Goods, Textile), Region (North America, Europe, APAC, South America, MEA) - Global Forecast to 2026

Mr. Aashish Mehra
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