Berwyn, Pennsylvania – Trinseo has seen its synthetic rubber business shrink over the first three months of 2019, mainly due to lower styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) sales volumes.
Segment sales fell 16% year-on-year in the first quarter to $125 million (€111 million) on lower volumes and negative currency factors, the company reported 3 May.
Earnings (adjusted EBITDA) at the rubber unit fell by 65.4%, to just under $9 million, compared to the first quarter of 2018,
Trinseo linked lower volumes in solution SBR (SSBR) and emulsion SBR (ESBR) to a global slowdown in vehicle production and weakness in European and Asian tire markets
The company also noted lower margins on ESBR polymers on greater supply availability in Europe as Asia exports declined.
The latest results follow an 8% decline in earnings for the full year 2018 to $77 million at Trinseo’s rubber business on sales down 2% to $572 million.
In response, Trinseo launched a restructuring programme at its rubber business late last year, aiming to reduce costs by about $2 million in 2019, and $3 million/year thereafter.