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The trade association of the German rubber industry Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie e. V. (wdk) announced that the companies represented in the association are represented with their products in practically all areas of life and are therefore systemically relevant for supplying the population.

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The Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) is asking the government to allow farmers to tap rubber during curfew, said Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on. The minister said tapping must be done at night well into the curfew time when the rubber trees yield latex. If farmers are barred from collecting the latex at night, they will have nothing to sell and earn no income, the minister said. He has instructed the RAOT to seek permission from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and coordinate with the Interior Ministry, which supervises local governments to permit rubber farms to continue working during the curfew from 10pm to 4am.

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According to the Belgium-based company Materialise, 3D printing technology may lend a hand in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. The 3D printing specialist has designed a 3D printed door opener that makes it possible to open and close doors with your arm, removing the need for direct contact with door handles. The company is offering the printable design for free and calling upon the global 3D printing community to 3D print the door opener and make it available all around the world.

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Malaysian authorities have ordered the reopening of the Padang Besar checkpoint in Songkhla next week (second week of April) to allow the import of concentrated latex for the country's production of rubber gloves. Kajohnjak Nuanphromsakul, acting governor of the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT), said in Bangkok that the Malaysian government has decided to reopen the checkpoint in Sadao district, effective 6 April 2020, in response to rising demand. Malaysia is one of the world's leading producers of gloves and relies on latex supplies from Thailand.

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Kumho Petrochemical said it will concentrate on its core business to ensure internal stability amid prolonged uncertainty due to growing tension between key players and the spread of protectionism in the global oil market. The chemical company's main business is manufacturing synthetic rubber and resins and this year it plans to solidify its leading position in the market by continuing to grow.

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Covestro announced that is has signed a contract with its 16 core banks for a new syndicated revolving credit facility for EUR 2.5 billion with a term of five years plus two one-year extension options, effective as of 17 March 2020. The facility can be drawn in different currencies and will be used as a standby backup liquidity reserve, the company said.

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In light of the recent developments on travel restrictions, the declaration of safety of all participants and additional measures taken by the host country relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, and the Organising Committee of the World Rubber Summit (WRS) 2020 have announced the postponement of the conference to September 2020. The new dates will be communicated in due course, said the organisers.

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Davis-Standard announced that in light of recent announcements related to COVID-19 and “shelter in place” requirements, it is confirming that the company has been identified as an Essential Business and will continue to operate to produce equipment required for the manufacturing of medical supplies, food and pharmaceutical packaging, construction materials and other related products.

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LyondellBasell announced that it will slow construction of its world-scale propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant. The company said it is limiting non-essential activities at this time due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including government orders designed to limit human contact.

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Synthomer announced that the conditions attached to the European Commission's clearance decision issued on 15 January 2020 have been satisfied and no other regulatory approvals are outstanding for the completion of the acquisition of OMNOVA Solutions Inc ("OMNOVA"). The acquisition is expected to complete by 1 April 2020. This follows receipt of approval for the agreed sale of its PYRATEX VP Latex business to Trinseo.

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Dr. Frank Stieler resigned from his office as CEO of KraussMaffei Group GmbH on 31 March 2020 and Dr. Michael Ruf, former COO of the company, has taken over the position effective from 1 April 2020. The COO position will not be taken again, announced the company.

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