NBR in growth mode

From automotive, aerospace to industrial and consumer goods, nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) will enjoy limitless uses from these applications, says Global Industry Analysts (GIA) in its latest report. Demand for NBR is closely tied to strong GDP growth, which is reflective of gains in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, fuelling need for synthetic rubber.

Although the NBR industry displayed dormancy in recent years owing to poor economic conditions, it is now in a growth mode. For instance, consumption of NBR in automotive parts is poised to grow, especially in developing countries since manufacturers are moving production to low cost countries. Thus, automotive parts manufacturers from low-cost countries are expected to address over 40% of the global parts market by 2015.

In the medical industry, production shortages in raw materials like vinyl and the declining role of latex, which until now was the dominant material used in the manufacture of medical gloves, is helping trigger demand for NBR in this sector. Plus, nitrile gloves are puncture-resistant in comparison to gloves made from natural rubber.

China, Japan and the US continue to be the leading consumers, with China, in particular, being the epicentre, owing to robust growth in domestic production of industrial goods and vehicles. Other regions in Asia-Pacific are also expected to clock up significant growth, owing to healthy economics, growth of vehicles and increasing number of tyre plants.