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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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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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Tire producer Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT), headquartered in India, is not exempt from having to face this extraordinary emergency and its many ensuing complications, a situation which the Group has to face as a whole, on an international level. The Group will not lose its capacity to react and it is currently re-organizing both their internal and external processes in the best way possible, so that business can resume as soon as possible. The supply chain team remains active, in constant contact with the suppliers of raw material, in order that the manufacturing can also resume, and not waste any time.

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The increasingly severe impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on our societies and economy is unlike anything we have seen before. Health concerns, supply shortages, low demand and government measures have led the European tyre industry to take decisive action. Over the past week, many member companies of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA) have announced the temporary closure of their European manufacturing facilities. The impact goes beyond that: R&D facilities, other operational areas and retail networks, which are key to the industry’s future, are also affected. Due to the extensive economic and human consequences of this crisis, ETRMA calls for constructive dialogue on remedial measures and support schemes at both the EU and national level.

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