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Kuraray Co., Ltd. announced that Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has adopted liquid farnesene rubber (LFR) as a performance enhancing additive in the production of its latest studless tyre Winter Maxx 02.

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Chem-Trend announced the acquisition of the release agent business of Rubio Trading & Consulting SRL, its long-time distribution partner in Romania. As part of a planned growth strategy in Eastern Europe, Chem-Trend Romania SRL has been established through the acquisition. Chem-Trend Romania will continue to support the local market in the existing industries of polyurethane and rubber moulding, thermoplastics processing and die casting, and will expand in the future to support the tyre manufacturing market as well, says the company.

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FRX Polymers, Inc., a producer of polymeric halogen-free flame retardants, has earned ISO 9001:2015 certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), effective from 6 February 2017. ISO 9001:2015 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a company-wide quality management system (QMS).

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BASF recently inaugurated its new Innovation Campus Asia Pacific, located in Mumbai, India. With a total expected investment of up to EUR 50 million, the projects marks BASF’s largest R+D investment in South Asia. All global research operations at the innovation campus will be housed under BASF Chemicals India Private Limited, a 100 % subsidiary of BASF.

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Huntsman Corporation has announced a plan to close the white end finishing and packaging operation of its titanium dioxide (TiO2) manufacturing facility based in Calais, France, during the third quarter of 2017.

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Arlanxeo announced that it will raise the prices for Keltan EPDM grades. In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) the price adjustment is up to EUR 150 per tonne, effective from 16 March 2017. In Latin America, USA, Canada and Mexico, the prices will increase up to USD 150 per tonne, effective from 1 April 2017. The measure is the result of the overall market and cost developments of the past months, said the company.

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The bi-annual World Rubber Summit 2017, jointly organised by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) and SingEx Exhibitions Pte Ltd, as a crucial component of World Rubber Week, will host a suite of wide-ranging thought-provoking topics and plenary discussion forums, including four crucial trends affecting the rubber industry directly in 2017: climate change and its synergies and trade-offs; industry consolidation; smart agriculture for new levels of efficiency and cost, and demand and supply factors that will impact commodity prices. Close to 5,000 delegates from over 100 countries will spend three days in various knowledge exchange and trade platforms spread across three events at World Rubber Week – the World Rubber Summit, Rubber Exchange Forum and Tyrexpo Asia.

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The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has recently published its natural rubber trends and statistics for February 2017.

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The business network Made in the Midlands (MIM) has officially taken over the Rubber & Plastics Research Association (Rapra), in what has been described as a “historic deal” for the future of the manufacturing sector in the UK. Financial terms of the deal have not been announced. Rapra is a non-profit membership association that offers impartial specialist support to the whole of industry through a network of technical centres. Rapra connects companies to polymer scientists and engineers to provide short and long term R+D solutions. The continual rise of Industry 4.0 technology is expected to generate increased interest in the services of Rapra, which will now be strengthened by MIM's support. Made in the Midlands is a privately run peer group for managing directors and CEOs of manufacturing and engineering firms in the Midlands.

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The market research institute Ceresana has analysed the global market for bioplastics already for the fourth time. According to the new “Market Study: Bioplastics (4th edition)”, revenues of more than USD 2.6 billion were generated with 'green' plastics in 2015. These materials account for considerably higher growth rates than traditional petrochemical standard plastics. The most important sales sector for bioplastics is the packaging industry – from bottles to films up to bags and sacks. Facing the rising demand and the increasingly growing range of applications for bioplastics, analysts expect the trend to become even more significant in the future. While biodegradable plastics account for the smaller part of total demand for bioplastics with 42 %, their demand is characterised by a growth of over 11 % per year, says Ceresana.

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Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. is looking to produce cargo tires locally, in partnership with the Philippine Rubber Farmers Association (PRFA) and the Agriculture Department.

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