Auto market fuels growth for HNBR, says study

In terms of revenue share, the global hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) market is projected to increase at the growth CAGR of 7.6% over the period 2018-2027 owing to abundant factors, says a report by

The report titled “Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Market Forecast, Trend Analysis & Competition Tracking – Global Market Insights 2018 to 2027”, also adds that the Asia Pacific region upholds its dominance for the production and demand by 2027, as well as North America. The increase in the local demand from the automotive industry and regional presence of key manufacturers is expected to contribute to the growth of the global market.

Prices of natural rubber have plummeted, and Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, accounting for almost 70% of natural rubber, have cut their exports as a result of the drop in prices. Thus, there is a shift towards synthetic rubbers such as HNBR, especially in emerging economies.

The automotive industry is growing at a healthy clip and this is forecasted to continue in the medium term. Global auto sales have been largely driven by countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. The automotive industry is the largest customer of the HNBR market. Products such as O-rings, seals, synchronous timing belts, suspension parts, mountings, hoses, fan belts all necessitate frequent replacement benefiting the global HNBR market. The tyre producing industry consumes the bulk of the global production of HNBR, due to its low heat build-up. It is heavily promoted by as a superior alternative to natural rubber.

HNBR is also used in other industries such as pharmaceutical, construction, and chemical industry. In the construction industry, HNBR is used in windows, pipes, flooring, sound insulation, and roofing.

In the past few years, the governments of rubber producing countries such as Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India have been providing economic assistance to farmers engaged in the cultivation of rubber. Furthermore, the government is supporting rubber manufacturing units with favourable policies including tax breaks, subsidies, custom duty waivers, etc. For e.g. – Excessive monsoonal rainfall in India almost five years ago reduced the rubber production of that year. The Indian govt. helped rubber manufacturing firms and grower’s various offers such as planting, trade fairs, buyer-seller meets, and exhibitions.

The study suggests that the price volatility of natural rubber and the demand-supply mismatch makes key stakeholders look at an alternative such as HNBR. Moreover, the automotive industry is likely to remain the largest user of HNBR for the foreseeable future.

There are challenges to the HNBR market. In 2016, the National Energy Administration began canceling licenses for the construction of new coal-powered fuel stations, and this was followed up by a countrywide program of environmental inspections. A number of HNBR plants had to close down in October 2017 as they were using coal-furnaces.

Although electrically-powered plants are replacing them, the China HNBR market should see challenging times in the short term. Prices are poised to rise in the other Asian countries like India as well, with South Korean suppliers having raised their exports to the subcontinent following the latter’s decision to impose anti-dumping duties on European and Thai HNBR suppliers.

Germany is an automotive hub, and the country hosts the headquarters of renowned automobile manufacturers such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen. Thus, the demand for HNBR is anticipated to grow in Europe, particularly in Germany. 

The manufacturers operating in the global HNBR market include Rahco Rubber, Inc., JSR Corporation, Kumho Petrochemical Co., Ltd., Zeon Corporation, Sibur Holding, ARLANXEO, Versalis S.p.A., OMNOVA Solutions Inc., Lianda Corporation, Synthos S.A., and others located across the globe.

The prominent market players are concentrating on the extension of their production abilities and vertical integration for business development.