Rubber in its native form is basically useless. It is only when certain chemicals are added; the rubber thus produced is used to make varied rubber products. Synthetic rubber is used as a substitute for natural rubber in many cases. Depending on the chemicals added and the properties associated with it, the synthetic rubber can be as hard as a bowling ball or as resilient as a rubber band or as soft as a sponge.
When improved material properties are required, synthetic rubber is considered. Approximately 70% of all rubber used today are one from many synthetic rubber varieties.
The synthetic rubber market is expected to register a CAGR of 5.6% between 2018 and 2023 (the forecast period). The market is expected to be augmented by the growing demand for synthetic rubber products in the automotive Industry. Additionally, increasing consumption of styrene in athletic footwear is anticipated to fuel the demand during the forecast period.
Demand for synthetic rubbers is split by the application areas tires, automotive applications, industry and construction, modification of materials (that is the admixture with other materials) as well as by the group of other applications. The most important sales market in 2017 was the segment tires: 58% of total global demand were accounted for by applications in original equipment and replacement tires. Rubbers are also used for numerous other products in the automotive industry: for example for hoses, cables, seals as well as window and door profiles.
The second largest application area for rubbers are elastically deformable engineering products with a stable shape such as conveyor belts, roll covers, hoses, profiles, seals, cables, molded parts, and roofing films. Ranging from the chemical industry, engineering, and construction to electrics and electronics, increasing number of rubber products are needed.
Rapidly expanding footwear market across the globe is also expected to augment the growth of the synthetic rubber market. However, the report mentions that oversupply of synthetic rubber due to consistent capacity additions will restrain the market during the forecast horizon. The increasing substitution of synthetic rubber by natural rubber will also hamper the growth of the market. The overall synthetic rubber market has a huge opportunity to grow with the emergence of bio-based feedstock.
The automotive industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and it is directly related to the synthetic rubber industry. About 75% of the world’s rubber production (both natural and synthetic) is involved in the production of tires. In other words, the automotive end-user segment dominates the global synthetic rubber market. The rapid growth of the automotive industry, especially in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East & Africa region, is driving the demand for synthetic rubber, due to its diverse and various applications.