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The Semperit Group announced that it has completed another expansion stage at the Semperflex site in Odry, Czech Republic. With an investment volume of EUR 27 million, the annual production capacity was increased to 100 million metres of industrial and hydraulic hoses, which are used in the construction and transport industries, in mines as well as in various agricultural machines.

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BASF, which last year signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Guangdong provincial government to establish a new "smart" Verbund site in Guangdong, said it has selected the city of Zhanjiang as the location of the proposed project.

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China is looking to set up a specialised free trade zone (FTZ) for rubber-based value added exports in Sri Lanka by partnering with private sector rubber manufactures, exporters and planters including Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs). A high-powered Chinese delegation led by the Deputy Governor of China’s Hainan Province and former Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shen Danyang and other Chinese State officials had discussions with Sri Lankan Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake and other top ministry officials at the ministry premises in Colombo on Friday (11 January 2019).

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Natural rubber prices are expected to range from MYR 4 to MYR 5 per kilogram this year from an average of MYR 4.29 per kg last year. Natural rubber has consistently remained below MYR 4 per kg since October, said Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) in its research note. The investment bank expects 2019 to show an uncertain and volatile movement of the price of natural rubber. This will be in line with the ethylene price velocity, the raw material for synthetic rubber in Asia.

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Vietnam exported about 1.58 million tons of rubber in 2018 – worth USD 2.1 billion and up 14.5 percent in volume, but down 6.6 percent in value year-on-year, the General Department of Vietnam Customs reported. In December, the country earned USD 230 million from shipping 190,000 tons of rubber abroad, representing an increase of 12.7 percent but the value dropped 5.6 percent year-on-year. The price of rubber in the last month of 2018 increased as trade tensions between the US and China eased.

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“Our PA 12 elastomer is extremely lightweight thanks to its low density,” says Klaus Hülsmann, plastics expert in the Consumer Goods market segment of Evonik. (Source: Evonik)

In 1979, Evonik launched the thermoplastic elastomer polyether block amide (PEBA) under the brand name Vestamid E from its largest global production site in the Marl Chemical Park. Whether in sports equipment, hydraulic pressure lines in trucks, medical devices or 3D printed high-tech parts, these polyamide 12 elastomers kept finding their way into new demanding applications over the past four decades. Right from the beginning, the polymer has stood out for its excellent low-temperature impact resistance, chemical resistance, high elasticity and good resilience. It was easy to process, dye or over-mold. From the beginning, the TPE offered a uniquely balanced property profile that enabled design-free implementation of demanding applications.

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Reed Exhibitions, a division of Relx Group, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mack Brooks Exhibitions. Financial details were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory consents and is expected to close during the first half of 2019.

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Ana Carolina Haracemiv has been appointed as new head of the Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI) region at Dow Polyurethanes in Horgen, Switzerland, effective from 1 January 2019. She succeeds Jon Penrice, who has been named President of Dow Asia Pacific at the same time.

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The German Hennecke Group announced that it has purchased the assets of US equipment, parts and repair supplier Polyurethane Process Industries, LLC (PPI) of Greensburg, PA, USA. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Thursday (6 December 2018) assured full technical and financial assistance to Sialkot’s gloves industry in Pakistan’s Punjab Province. This was announced by Senior Representative of JICA in Pakistan, Yoshihisa Onoe, during a meeting with manufacturers and exporters at the Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PGMEA) office.

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