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United States International Trade Commision forwards case against Chinese tire dumping

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Washington, D.C. - On June 3, 2014, a petition was filed with the Commission and Commerce by the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Pittsburgh, PA, alleging that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of LTFV and subsidized imports of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China. Accordingly, effective June 3, 2014, the Commission instituted countervailing duty investigation No. 701-TA-522 and anti-dumping duty investigation No. 731-TA-1258 (Preliminary). Notice of the institution of the Commission's investigations and of a public conference to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, D.C., and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register of June 9, 2014 (79 FR 32994). The conference was held in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2014, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel. The Commission transmitted its determinations in these investigations to the Secretary of Commerce on August 15, 2014. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4482 (August 2014), entitled Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from China: Investigation Nos. 701-TA-522 and 731-TA-1258 (Preliminary). On the basis of the record developed in the subject investigations, the United States International Trade Commission (Commission) determines, pursuant to sections 703(a) and 733(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. '' 1671b(a) and 1673b(a)) (the Act), that there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports from China of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires, provided for in subheadings 4011.10.10, 4011.10.50, 4011.20.10 and 4011.20.50 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV) and are allegedly subsidized by the Government of China. Pursuant to section 207.18 of the commission's rules, the commission also gives notice of the commencement of the final phase of its investigations. The commission will issue a final phase notice of scheduling, which will be published in the Federal Register as provided in section 207.21 of the Commission's rules, upon notice from the Department of Commerce(Commerce) of affirmative preliminary determinations in the investigations under sections 703(b) or 733(b) of the Act, or, if the preliminary determinations are negative, upon notice of affirmative final determinations in those investigations under sections 705(a) or 735(a) of the Act. Parties that filed entries of appearance in the preliminary phase of the investigations need not enter a separate appearance for the final phase of the investigations. Industrial users, and, if the merchandise under investigation is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations have the right to appear as parties in commission anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. The Secretary will prepare a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the investigations. - * Email

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RheinChemie

Thailand approves 5.94 billion (baht) for overhaul of rubber industry

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bangkok, Thailand - The Bangkok Post reports, "The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has approved a budget of 5.94 billion baht for the overhaul of the rubber industry as proposed by the Natural Rubber Policy Committee. The measures involve maintaining a stock to stabilise prices, improving planters’ liquidity, developing the rubber market and conducting research and development on rubber products, said Winthai Suwaree, an NCPO spokesman. For the short term of up to 10 years, product prices will be buoyed by increasing market liquidity, adding value and improving quality of products and more lending to rubber operators. “The NCPO chief is concerned about the rubber problem and stressed the government’s stock must be sold in a manner that doesn’t affect market prices,” Suwaree said. “In the short term, more markets must be found and products traded at appropriate prices. In the long term, domestic use should be optimised and a balance between demand and supply must be maintained,” he said. Representatives of the rubber farmers' network on Tuesday submitted a letter to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to propose measures for their survival. Chan-Ocha assigned Chatchai Sarikalaya to talk with the representatives and accept the letter. The six-group network suggested two emergency measures. Leaders of four groups on May 16 sought an injunction from the Administrative Court to stop the sale of 210,000 metric tons of rubber in the government's stockpile, saying the move would further push down prices. Local rubber prices fell from 55.89 baht a kilogram on Aug 7 to 51.61 kg on August 18. The planters recommended the stock be liquidated in February 2015 when there is little tapping activity. The court issued a temporary injunction but since the second inquiry on August 19, the injunction has not been renewed. Related authorities in charge of the stock argued the sale was necessary to get the money for new supply. The inventory was the result of the previous government's subsidy which paid the planters 100 baht a kg. According to their letter, the planters also want a solution to the 210,000 metric ton stock. They urge that all agencies think of how to process or add value to rubber such as adding latex to asphalt in road construction or building playgrounds or futsal field, etc. The government should also keep track of the quantity and quality of the rubber in its stock, kept to stabilize prices. Since production cost is 65.25 baht a kg at present, the government should continue to subsidize their farm essentials costs for another season at the rate of 2,520 baht a rai, but not more than 25 rai each, they said. In the medium term, the farmers want a restructuring of the Thai rubber market so it can be used as reference prices for Asean and the world instead of foreign futures markets. The planters should also take part in making rubber products while the government can help in terms of financing and marketing. They also want the government to approve a revolving fund worth 10 billion baht for stockpiling and 5 billion baht in credit for processing rubber. "As a centre of Asean, Thailand should host a regional conference among the seven producing countries to set regional strategies," they said. The planters also want to set up a fund to stabilize prices across Asean, which makes up 80 percent of world rubber output. "The ultimate goals are to make Asean prices the world's reference prices and to stabilise rubber prices by keeping a stock of 1 million metric tons," it said. The supply could be added to the stock when prices are below cost and sold when they returns to normal. In addition to the network, rubber planters nationwide have turned to the new prime minister for help after the prices dropped below costs. In Nakhon Si Thammarat, 10 representatives of the farmers' council of the southern province sent a letter to Chan-Ocha through governor Apinant Suethanuwong at the provincial hall. Prateep Kleepkaew, chairman of the local farmers' council, said that about 100,000 families of rubber growers in the province were in deep trouble. "The rubber price is much lower than production costs. The families of rubber growers lack money to maintain their living and their everyday life is depending on bank loans and loan sharks," Kleepkaew said. Governor Apinant received the letter and promised to forward it to Chan-Ocha. In Trang, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative (BAAC) is speeding up payments under the farm essentials subsidy program. BAAC Trang director Panumas Tunnsu said planters should look for extra incomes and apply the sufficiency economy principle. Some 58,000 planters registered in the program of whom 12,630 were paid by the BAAC. However, most of their documents are either redundant or incomplete, causing payment delays. The Yingluck Shinawatra government approved a subsidy for farm essentials at 2,520 baht a rai. The BAAC has already paid 1.27 billion baht under the program. Since most rubber planters are small with an average plantation of 10 rai a household and production of 264 kg a year, they earn more than 100,000 baht a year. It is therefore imperative that they find extra jobs and apply the sufficiency economy principle." - * Email

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McLube

Rubber may soon come from dandelions

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Washington, D.C. - The Voice of America reports, "Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists looking for replacements may have found one in a ubiquitous weed. Rubber trees, growing mostly on Southeast Asian plantations, are sensitive plants, giving the optimal yield of raw rubber only under ideal atmospheric conditions, an equal distribution of rainfall and bright sunshine, with the absence of strong winds. They are also extremely sensitive to a plant disease that has devastated rubber plantations in the tree’s original habitat, South America. Dandelions, on the other hand, are tough weeds, that grow, even in poor soil, and are not overly sensitive to a changing climate. Scientists have long known that the dandelion's milky sap contains latex, the main ingredient of raw rubber. A variety native to Kazakhstan is the richest source. Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, supported by car tire industry, are trying to manipulate its genes to produce latex in quantities suitable for commercial exploitation, says lead researcher Dirk Pruefer. “One of the main challenges in dandelion research was to produce plants, novel plants that have an improved rubber content that has a good economic behavior in the field. And that is why we're working since years [for] years on the breeding program to develop new traits in the plants, stabilized traits, for example stable rubber content," said Pruefer. The genetically-engineered dandelion is already producing half a ton of rubber per hectare, but Pruefer says the scientists’ goal is about twice as much. They would also like to grow taller plants with upright leaves, which are more suitable for machine harvesting. Pruefer says one of the leading tire manufacturers, Continental AG, is already testing tires made with dandelion-based rubber. “They made a lot of testing tissues so see the quality of the material. And what you can see is that the quality is similar to that what they have originally done with the rubber from the rubber tree," he said. Researchers say large fields in Europe and Asia, currently unusable due to poor soil, may someday be covered with rubber-producing yellow flowers. - * Email

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Kraiburg TPE's Thermolast K used by Stabilo for injection molded pens and pencils

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waldkraiburg, Germany - Stabilo and Kraigurg TPE have been working together for more than a decade on the future of handwriting: the specialist for thermoplastic elastomers supplies the international writing utensil manufacturer Stabilo International GmbH with Thermolast K, the material that makes pencils and pens pleasant to hold. Electronic communication is fast, effective and in keeping with the times. And yet, people who write things down often have better ideas, improved recall and a longer memory of what they have written. Prolific writers, students and everyone who knows the value of handwriting appreciate the qualities of a good writing utensil. Stabilo has been manufacturing pens and pencils since 1865. Today the company offers a diverse spectrum of user-friendly and highly functional products for writing, drawing and highlighting. The most recent compositions include the pointball and Easyball ballpoint pens, the worker colorful roller ball pen, the Green Boss and Boss Executive highlighters and the Smartgraph pencil. Stabilo writing utensils feature a non-slip gripping surface that is pleasant to the touch. They are manufactured from thermoplastic elastomers of the product group Thermolast K from Kraiburg TPE. Excellent adhesion to PP and other thermoplasts such as PC/ABS and the fast and easy two-component injection molding manufacturing process make Thermolast K ideal for Stabilo writing utensils. The material can easily be dyed and offers virtually unlimited possibilities in terms of design and functionality. Thermolast K compounds are suitable for all conventional manufacturing processes; in addition to their excellent adhesion they also feature outstanding sealing and non-slip properties. The highly specialized products of Kraiburg TPE, tailored to suit market demands, are the result of many years of development and experience. Thermolast K is certified for contact with foods and features temperature stability and weather resistance, in addition to being free of latex and PVC. It is also easy to recycle. Both manufacturers develop their products with a keen focus on sustainability and environmental consciousness. “Sustainability is gaining in importance with respect to customer requirements and the standards placed on suppliers, as well as the processes within companies. In Kraiburg TPE we have found a partner that has the same standards of quality,” explains Sigrid Hell, Director of Purchasing at Stabilo International GmbH. In addition to internal quality assurance, prevention and improvement measures, Kraiburg TPE is certified in accordance with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and the energy management system ISO 50001. - * Email

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Bayer MaterialScience reduces petroleum use with CO2 replacement during elastomer production

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Leverkusen, Germany - Bayer MaterialScience’s research into carbon dioxide as a new raw material for making plastics is delivering further successes. In laboratory tests, the company has succeeded in significantly further reducing the need for petroleum at precursor level through the incorporation of CO2. Plastics and their components are normally based entirely on oil. The new process also extends the range of plastics that CO2 can be used to produce. This is the result of the Dream Polymers research project in which Bayer MaterialScience is continuing its activities to find new uses for CO2. A technology using the greenhouse gas to produce a key component for high-quality foam (polyurethane) is already moving toward commercial use. The proportion of petroleum in this chemical is 80 percent. "We have now succeeded in reducing the petroleum content for making other plastics to just 60 percent," says project manager, Dr. Christoph Gürtler. Carbon dioxide is used twice in the new process. First, the greenhouse gas is incorporated directly into a new kind of precursor (polyoxymethylene polycarbonate polyol), replacing 20 percent of the petroleum. Second, it is also used indirectly, producing a chemical that is also incorporated into the precursor for a further 20 percent saving in petroleum. "As a result, the proportion of alternative raw materials is already 40 percent," remarks Gürtler. In addition to this, the number of plastics that can be produced using carbon dioxide is increasing. "It is now also possible to manufacture thermoplastic polyurethanes, films and casting elastomers in this way," says Gürtler. Such plastics are used in all kinds of applications, including automotive interiors, cable sheathing and sporting goods such as ski boots. The researchers have already proved in laboratory tests that the manufacturing process works in principle. "Initial application tests have been positive," confirms Gürtler, but he adds that there is some way to go before the process is commercially viable. Dream Polymers is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. External institutions in Germany such as the CAT Catalytic Center, the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis and the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology are also involved. Bayer MaterialScience sees itself as a pioneer when it comes to future applications for CO2. As part of its Dream Production project, which has already been in progress for some time, the company aims to use carbon dioxide as a component for flexible polyurethane foam at the Dormagen site from 2016 onward. The new material will initially be used to make mattresses. - * Email

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Pyrolyx issued patent for new green carbon black recovery method

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Munich, Germany - Pyrolyx AG, which has developed the first green, sustainable process for the recovery of high-quality, marketable carbon black from end-of-life tires, has announced that its method has now been successfully patented for the U.S. and Chinese markets. The patent protecting Pyrolyx AG’s core technology has been registered by the patent authority in the USA under number 13/498,032 and by the Chinese patent authority under number 2009801626128. Moreover, Pyrolyx fully expects its environmentally friendly and currently unique technology to be patented in other countries during the course of 2014. At present the company is completing the engineering process for the construction of the first commercial Pyrolyx plant in Germany. - * Email

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Wacker named 'Preferred Supplier' by Bosch

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Munich, Germany - Wacker, the Munich-based chemical company, has been named Bosch’s “Preferred Supplier” in the “elastomers and thermosetting plastics” materials group. Stuttgart-based Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, awarded the status recently. In Bosch’s annual assessment, Wacker scored top marks in the categories of quality, logistics, innovation and strategic collaboration. As a preferred supplier, Wacker can now play an even stronger part in the development of new products and technologies. Once a year, Bosch assigns its Preferred Supplier status to the best of its 4,000 suppliers in its sub-assemblies and materials groups. “Wacker’s outstanding achievements in the fields of quality, delivery reliability, innovation and strategic collaboration made it an obvious choice for this award,” said Dr. Norbert Neumann, Bosch’s senior vice president of Purchasing and Logistics for Automotive Business Subassemblies and Materials. “What particularly impressed us was Wacker’s extremely constructive and forward-looking approach.” Wacker and Bosch have been collaborating closely in automotive electronics and household appliances for over 30 years. The chemical company currently supplies over 100 different silicone products to Bosch, including adhesives, sealants, silicone rubber grades, and specialty silicone gels for potting electronic components. “Our preferred supplier status is not only proof of our solid cooperation with Bosch. It also shows that silicones are highly innovative materials. They are extremely versatile and robust, which is why they are indispensable in so many high-tech products such as LEDs and automotive electronics,” Peter Summo, vice president of Wacker’s Engineering Silicones Business Unit, said. He added that the award is an incentive for Wacker to further its partnership with Bosch. “As a Preferred Supplier, we can now support joint development projects even more intensively than in the past.” - * Email

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New market report on butyl rubber technical material

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dublin, Ireland - Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Butyl Rubber Technical Material Market Report" to its offering. Butyl Rubber Technical Material Market Report provides a technical, analytical and statistical insight into the butyl rubber market. The market analysis includes volume trends, value trends, price trends, key players, market breakup by region, market breakup by end-use industries, key success factors, key risk factors, feedstock market trends, import trends, export trends, etc. Apart from the market analysis, the report also provides an exhaustive technical insight on acrylic acid. This includes chemical information, manufacturing process, chemical reactions involved, raw material requirements, mass balance, conversion rate of feedstocks, etc. The study, which is based both on desk research and multiple waves of qualitative primary research, is a must-read for entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, consultants, business strategists, and all those who are planning to foray into the butyl rubber industry in any manner. - * Email

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