World Analysis – Rubber

  • Market Overview
  • Key Benefits
  • Service Features
  • Annual Table of Contents

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

Synthetic elastomers are generally categorized as commodity or specialty. The commodity synthetic elastomers include styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), polybutadiene rubber (PBR), nitrile rubber (NBR), ethylene-propylene rubber (EPDM), butyl rubber (IIR or HIIR), polyisoprene, and polychloroprene (Neoprene). Specialty synthetic elastomers include acrylics, silicones, polyethers (propylene oxide, epichlorohydrin), fluorinated, chlorosulfonated, polyethylene, polyurethanes, polysulfide elastomers, and chlorinated polyethylene elastomers. The family of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) is another crucial type of synthetic elastomer. This group includes styrene-block copolymers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, thermoplastic polyolefins, polyamide TPEs, and copolyester-ethers (COPE). This World Analysis focuses on the largest commodity elastomers, including SBR (solution SBR [S-SBR] and emulsion SBR [E-SBR]), PBR, NBR, and butyl rubber (IIR or HIIR). It also contains our view of the natural rubber market.

Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) is the most widely used synthetic elastomer. SBR demand is concentrated in durable goods, primarily automotive applications, such as tires and tire products, which account for about 70% of global consumption. Nontire markets represent about 25–30% of SBR demand, with applications in automotive components, mechanical parts, and a wide variety of other end uses. SBR’s main advantage in tire applications is that it provides longer life to tire treads. SBR is produced in both emulsion processes (E-SBR) and solution processes (S-SBR). Of all the synthetic rubbers, E-SBR is the most commoditized. Meanwhile, S-SBR is a key component in the emerging “green” tires. Compounding S-SBR into the tread rubber allows silica to be used instead of carbon black, lowering the tire’s rolling resistance and increasing fuel efficiency without compromising other performance variables.
Polybutadiene rubber (PBR) is the second most widely used synthetic elastomer. Most of the PBR consumed is in tires and tire products, with non-tire markets comprising applications in plastics modification and a wide variety of mechanical parts and other miscellaneous uses. Because PBR has good abrasion resistance, it is used primarily in tire treads. Lesser amounts are used in carcass and sidewall components, where its flexibility and resilience tend to moderate heat buildup.

Nitrile rubber (NBR) is a synthetic rubber made from 1,3-butadiene and acrylonitrile using emulsion polymerization techniques. It exhibits excellent resistance to various oils, fuels, and chemicals. NBR is used in seals, gaskets, hoses, belts, and miscellaneous molded rubber goods. It is consumed in adhesives, which require high strength and oil resistance. NBR is also blended with thermoplastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polypropylene (PP), and nylon to improve flexibility, toughness, or appearance. Hydrogenated nitrile rubber (HNBR) is used in several oil fields, automotive, and industrial applications. Oil field and automotive uses include seals, tubes, cable jackets, O-rings, and belts. Industrial uses include various rolls and hoses.

Butyl rubber (IIR) has very low permeability to air and is used in applications where this property is beneficial. These include inner tubes, air cushions, pneumatic springs, and pharmaceutical closures. Halogenated butyl rubber (HIIR) is used for inner liners on tubeless tires. Other HIIR uses in tires are in the sidewalls and treads. In sidewalls, it is compounded with natural rubber and EPDM owing to its resistance to ozone and cracks. HIIR’s high damping characteristics have increased its use in tire treads and in other shock-absorption applications such as auto suspension bumpers, auto exhaust hangers, and body mounts. Butyl rubber is also consumed in the construction industry as a roofing membrane, among other applications.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Rubber provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights of critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global synthetic and natural rubber markets.

The following reports, data files, analytical tools and visualization modules are available online and can be downloaded from our website:

  • Direct Access to the Subject Matter Experts
  • In-depth exploration of present market strategic insights, recognition of critical challenges, and presentation of our experts’ forecasts and analysis
  • Explanatory Notes detailing data sources, methodologies, unit and conversion factors, and World Analysis deliverables.
  • Energy and Economy assumptions
  • Price, cost, and margin base assumptions forecast and sensitivities analysis, including price assessment methodology and price definitions across all regions.
  • Excel data files with standard supply/demand graphics and price forecasts extended to 2050, trade grids with country and regional trade flows Data appendix (Excel) with supply/demand, capacity and trade tables.
  • An online dashboard visualization of capacity, supply/demand, trade grids, and price, cost and margin forecasts
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser
  • Data Appendix (Excel) with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Capacity by company/shareholder, capacity integration, top producer/consumer and surplus/deficit capacity ranking, and ownership/subsidiary information

Information and insight is provided for the following products: Butyl Rubber, Natural Rubber, Nitrile Rubber, Polybutadiene Rubber, Emulsion SB Rubber, Solution SB Rubber.

This World Analysis contains detailed information on capacities, production, demand, and trade for all significant producing and consuming countries and regions. Although data gathering is essential for understanding history and potential future trends, we believe that the interpretation and analysis of the data is the most valuable information to our clients.

Service Features

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050
Area Coverage: By country/region; include “hypothetical” capacity changes in the forecast period
Chemical Coverage: Butyl Rubber, Nitrile Rubber, Polybutadiene Rubber, SB Rubber (emulsion & solution), Natural Rubber


Frequency: Updated daily
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050

  • Nameplate capacity on individual plant location by producer and by the shareholder for main study products + essential derivatives
  • Integration table and top producer and consumer ranking tables (includes net surplus/deficit)
Chemical Coverage: Butyl Rubber, Nitrile Rubber, Polybutadiene Rubber, SB Rubber (emulsion & solution), Natural Rubber


Frequency: Quarterly
Format: Excel
Timeframe: up to 2050
Area Coverage: For the critical regions of North America (US), Europe, Asia
Chemical Coverage: Polybutadiene Rubber, SB Rubber (emulsion & solution)


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 1 year of history, up to 10 years of forecast
Area Coverage: Between partner countries and by region
Chemical Coverage: Butyl Rubber, Nitrile Rubber, Polybutadiene Rubber, SB Rubber (emulsion & solution), Natural Rubber


Frequency: Annual
Format: PDF/HTML
Timeframe: 5-year history, forecast to 2050
Coverage: Regional market summaries

  • Production economics/snapshots for selected regions/processes
  • Production process/technology overview
Chemical Coverage: Butyl Rubber, Nitrile Rubber, Polybutadiene Rubber, SB Rubber (emulsion & solution), Natural Rubber


  • Access to our global team of subject matter experts
  • Interactive data visualization module (dashboard)
  • Standard supply/demand graphs
  • Data appendix with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser

Annual Table of Contents

  • Introduction 4
  • Executive Overview 5
  • Butyl Rubber 5
  • Nitrile Rubber 8
  • Polybutadiene Rubber 11
  • Styrene-Butadiene Rubber 14
  • Natural Rubber 20
  • Strategic Insights 23
  • Economy Forecast Update 23
  • Cost Competitiveness 23
  • Developments in the automotive and tire industry 26
  • New US Laws that may impact petrochemical industry 28
  • The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the C4 olefins value chain 28
  • Production Process Overview 32
  • Introduction 32
  • Emulsion Polymerization of SBR 32
  • Solution Polymerization of SBR and PBR 33
  • Production Economics 34
  • Explanatory Notes 34
  • Polybutadiene Rubber 35
  • Styrene-Butadiene Rubber 38
  • Price Forecast 41
  • Methodology 41
  • Synthetic Rubber Raw Materials 42
  • Butadiene 42
  • Styrene 43
  • Polybutadiene rubber 44
  • North America 44
  • West Europe 44
  • Northeast Asia 45
  • Styrene-Butadiene Rubber 47
  • North America 47
  • West Europe 47
  • Northeast Asia 48
  • Price Forecast Tables 50
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 52

Market Coverage





Anthony Song

Anthony Song Executive Director, APAC C4 & Elastomers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Anthony Song is the Executive Director for APAC C4 & Elastomers at Chemical Market Analytics. Anthony (Young Ho) Song is the executive director for C4 olefins, derivatives, and natural rubber in Asia outside of mainland China at Chemical Market Analytics. He has over 20 years of experience in the petrochemical industry, mainly in the olefins business but also in chlor alkali and aromatics. Within the Asia region, he works closely with petrochemical, oil and financial industries, bringing support and guidance throughout the petrochemical chain. He is currently the service leader for the Asia C4 weekly report and contributes to the global outlook for C4 and elastomer reports. Anthony started his career as a petrochemical trader at Hanwha Corporation in Korea. His duties were to trade various gas products, including light and C4 olefins products, in Asia. He has spent about a year in Dubai as a regional expert program by Hanwha Group, researching and developing future strategic programs within the Middle East, from product development to investment portfolio. In 2008, he came to Singapore as a trading team manager at Hanwha International (overseas office in Singapore). Anthony graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.  
Bill Hyde

Bill Hyde Vice President, Olefins and Elastomers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Bill Hyde is the Vice President of Olefins & Elastomers at Chemical Market Analytics. Mr. Hyde is a member of Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, A Dow Jones Company. He leads a group that analyzes markets related to C4 Olefins, synthetic and natural rubber, and tire raw materials. He has been consulting in this market since 2002. Hyde began his career with the Union Carbide Corporation in 1990, where he had various positions, including production engineering, optimization, planning, and logistics. In 2000, he joined Texas Petrochemicals as a Business Analyst. In 2002, Hyde joined CMAI, which was acquired by IHS in 2011, in the Olefins Consulting Practice, focusing on C4 Olefins and rubber, assuming responsibility for that practice in 2006. The Base Chemicals Group of HIS Markit, which includes the C4 Olefins and Elastomers Practice, was divested to News Corp in June 2022 and became Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, A Dow Jones Company. He has published several papers on the Olefins and Elastomers industries and presented at numerous Olefins and Elastomers Conferences worldwide. Hyde has BSc and MSc Degrees in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A. from Tulane University.
Remko Koster

Remko Koster Executive Director, EMEA C4 Olefins Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Remko Koster is the Executive Director for C4 olefins and derivatives in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Chemical Market Analytics.. During his time with the company, he has taken various roles across a broad range of product areas. With over 20 years of experience, Remko is a key resource within the business for understanding and insight into the C4 and derivatives sector of the petrochemical industry. Within the EMEA region, he works closely with the petrochemical, oil and tire industries, bringing support and guidance throughout the petrochemical chain. His current area of focus includes oversight of the ‘Global Tire Type Indices Report’, primary input and insight for the ‘Global C4 Olefins & Elastomers Report’, as well as for the World Butadiene, MTBE, Rubber, and Butylenes analyses. His prior experience includes more than ten years of industrial experience with SABIC, including commercial responsibilities for C4 streams and aromatics and as a global market intelligence leader for polypropylene. Remko joined our company in 2011 as a polyethylene and polypropylene consultant for EMEA, contributing to the ‘Global Plastics & Polymers Report service’ and for World Polyethylene and Polypropylene Analysis. Remko Koster has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
William Chen, PhD

William Chen, PhD Executive Director, Asia Olefins and Derivatives Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

William Chen is an Executive Director of the Asia Olefins and Derivatives at Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company. Dr. William Chen is the Executive Director at Chemical Market Analytics. He leads Asia Olefins' business and has research responsibilities for providing insight into the dynamics associated with the ethylene, propylene, C4, and derivatives value chain markets. Provide thought leadership on the markets relating to supply, demand, price and economics, as well as competitive dynamics and changing industry structural elements. William also leads Asia Olefins' business for strategic growth and provides ongoing commercial management. Focus on nurturing client relationships and deepening services as part of clients’ commercial and strategic decision-making processes. Nurture relationships with clients, including SOEs, POEs and MNCs, to deepen services in clients’ commercial and strategic decision-making processes. William has been involved in many petrochemical consulting projects and client studies, including the China Coal Chemical Study, Global Propane Dehydrogenation Research, and Refinery-cracker/aromatic complex feasibility study. Before Chemical Market Analytics, William worked for ChemChina. William started as a chemical engineer at the company at a Lanzhou fiber plant in Northwest China. Then, he moved back to Beijing to focus on downstream application development. In the last two years with ChemChina, William took charge of sales and marketing responsibility in NE Asia. William earned a Ph.D from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and majored in Polymer Chemistry and Physics. William is based in Beijing, China.

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