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On 16 January 2019, an alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain launched a new organisation to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean. The cross value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), currently made up of nearly thirty member companies, has committed over USD 1.0 billion with the goal of investing USD 1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.

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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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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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The KraussMaffei Group announced that it has completed its listing on the Shanghai stock exchange on 28/29 December 2018. The listing occurred through the transfer of ChemChina’s stake in KraussMaffei to its majority owned subsidiary THY (Qingdao Tianhua Institute of Chemistry Engineering), which is listed on the Shanghai stock exchange. In addition, THY has taken over ChemChina’s production site in Sanming, China. New injection moulding machines for the Chinese market will be manufactured at this site in the future. Dr. Frank Stieler and Dr. Harald Nippel, CEO and CFO of KraussMaffei, will lead the new integrated mechanical engineering company. The combined business will operate under the brand KraussMaffei. KraussMaffei generates more than 80 % of the approximately EUR 1.5 billion revenue of the total entity.

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Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) has begun construction of its 5th polypropylene unit within the company's plant in the Ruwais region of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. Once the project comes on stream in the third quarter of 2021, it will boast a production capacity of 480,000 t/y, said a statement from Borouge, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Borealis of Austria. This new plant will help boost its polypropylene capacity by more than 25 per cent to 2.24 million t/y and unlock new opportunities to boost the local economy, it added.

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Ravago’s Aliağa (Izmir) production plant (Source: Ravago)

Luxembourg-based plastics supplier Ravago has announced an expansion of its manufacturing capacities in Europe by increasing the production of TPEs and engineering plastics at its brand new Aliağa (Izmir) production plant in Turkey. This will bring the TPE capacity at that site to 40,000 t/y. The Aliağa site will thus become the largest production complex of Ravago with a capacity of 250,000 t/y.

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Top Gloves Corp Bhd, which said earlier this year (2018) it would be investing MYR 100 million to set up a new plant to produce vinyl gloves in Vietnam, announced it has incorporated a subsidiary there for the purpose of manufacturing gloves and other products. The subsidiary that was incorporated on 19 December 2018 as a one-member limited liability company has a charter capital of VND 136.70 billion (about MYR 24.42 million), Top Glove said in a stock exchange filing on 21 December 2018. The subsidiary is known as Top Glove Vietnam Company Ltd.

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