GM Shoots for Sustainable Tire Sourcing

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DETROIT – General Motors launches an industry-first sustainable tire-purchasing initiative it hopes will drive the industry toward net-zero deforestation and improve human and labor rights.

“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” says Steve Kiefer, senior vice president-Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at GM. “We want to encourage affordable, safer and cleaner options for our customers that drive value to both our organization and the communities in which we work.”

Flanked here by executives from major tire makers Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin, Kiefer says he does not expect the program to add cost to the tires.

“It should maintain or even improve our cost structure,” he says.

GM purchases an estimated 49 million tires annually and believes sourcing them sustainably has a number of community, business and environmental benefits, such as addressing climate change, improving yield and quality for natural rubber farmers and mitigating business risk by ensuring long-term availability of the material.

Read the source article at WardsAuto

General Motors to push for sustainability in tire industry

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Transforming the global rubber and tire supply chain to create lasting, environmentally sound sustainable rubber production requires a collaborative approach. Through an industry-first commitment to sourcing sustainable natural rubber in its tires, General Motors is helping drive the industry toward net-zero deforestation and uphold human and labor rights.

Read the source article at Traction News

ANRPC releases Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, April 2017

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The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries hereby releases the most updated picture of emerging developments in supply, demand and market trends in world rubber market, through the monthly bulletin “Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics” for April 2017.

… Based on the assessment, world supply of natural rubber, including supply from non-ANRPC countries, is anticipated to remain short of demand during all months up to December 2017. The shortfall is expected to progressively widen from April 2017 onwards to reach 688,000 tonnes in June 2017 before narrows down in subsequent months to reach 46,000 tonnes by December 2017.  

World supply during January to April 2017 was short of demand by 466,000 tonnes, according to preliminary estimates.  Despite a deficit supply, natural rubber prices have moved along a falling trajectory from February 2017 onwards largely due to factors external to the sector. Crude oil prices sharply fallen from February 2017 due to rising US shale gas output and reported failure in the effective implementation of the production curtailment programme agreed among OPEC members and major non-OPEC oil producing countries.  Low crude oil prices keep sentiments down at Shanghai rubber futures and physical markets often follow suit. 

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India: Rubber production up 22%, belies growers’ claims

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The ongoing tug-of-war between natural rubber growers and consumers bears this out in ample measure.

The tussle relates to the state of rubber growers, and their claims that heightened imports have impacted domestic rubber production, which is contested by the tyre industry.

According to the latest data from the Rubber Board, natural rubber production actually increased in 2016-17 by 22 per cent over the previous year, Additionally, rubber imports declined by 7 per cent.

Rubber Board officials attributed the increased production to improved market price and the Board’s initiatives, including mass contact programmes to improve production and productivity.

 

The data effectively belies the rubber growers’ claims and validates the tyre industry’s diametrically opposite view.

With improving availability of natural rubber in the domestic market, there is a perceptible drop in rubber imports, says Satish Sharma, Chairman Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA).

“That lends credence to the tyre industry’s stand that natural rubber imports are only taking place to compensate for the domestic deficiency or in view of non-availability of certain grades of rubber on quality parameters,” he said.

ATMA also rebuts the claim that rubber imports are down because domestic prices are ruling lower than international prices.

 

Read the source article at Global Rubber Markets News

India: Natural rubber imports decline 7% in 2016-17

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The fall in natural rubber (NR) imports as announced by the Rubber Board has much to do with the increased domestic availability of the commodity, according to the tyre industry. Recently Rubber Board had released fresh data for the financial year 2016-17 that showed NR imports declining by 7% as production moved up by 22% […]

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Read the source article at Global Rubber Markets News

Why Cooper Tire & Rubber Co’s Shares Plunged 11%

Shares of tire manufacturer Cooper Tire & Rubber Co (NYSE:CTB) fell as much as 11.3% in trading Thursday after reporting earnings for the first quarter of 2017. Shares were still down 9.9% at 2:40 p.m. EDT and showed no signs of recovery. 

So what

Unit volume increased 2.9% versus a year ago, but net sales fell 1% to $643 million and net income dropped almost in half to $30.6 million, or $0.57 per share. Analysts were expecting $687.9 million in revenue and $0.74 per share in earnings. 

Management pointed to a competitive pricing environment and a $50 million increase in raw material costs as the reason results were down in the quarter. These hit Cooper Tire & Rubber especially hard because it uses a last in-first out accounting method in the U.S., meaning it used high cost materials while low cost materials sit on the balance sheet. 

Now what

Most of the pressures facing Cooper today are out of its control, but that’s not much consolation for investors. Management is also adjusting by raising prices, which it hopes will stem some of the pressure on the bottom line. On the bright side, international volume was strong and if that continues it should offset some of the pressure in the U.S. Long-term, Cooper is still a leading tire supplier with a profitable business long-term, so today’s dip in earnings and shares is a great buying opportunity for investors. 

Read the source article at Fool.com

Analysis: Rubber mixing plants of the future

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LONDON—Rubber mixers will have to become more automated and part of “holistic” production set-ups to deal with complexity in both the materials being processed and end use markets, according to Andreas Limper, a senior executive of HF Mixing Group.

There is a continuing rise in the number and types of tires required by the automotive industry as  brings more and more car models onto the market, Limper noted at a recent HF event in Manchester,  to mark 100 years of the Banbury mixer.

“This trend will go further with new challenges like full electric  requiring low rolling resistance designs and so on. So you will see a higher variety of compounds [used] in the  industry,” the HF leader forecast.

Silica compounds

In terms of materials, Limper said the introduction of silica tire compounds and modified/functionalized polymers was making control of temperature and other parameters more critical within the mixer. Likewise, he noted the emergence of more complex carbon blacks, which are also harder to mix.

In response, Limper said, mixer manufacturers and operators will have to become even more …

Read the source article at Global Rubber Markets News

Indian natural rubber output rebounds on higher prices

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Kottayam, India – Higher prices have contributed to a significant pick-up in India’s production and export of natural rubber (NR), the country’s Rubber Board has reported.

Production during the last fiscal year reached 690,000 tonnes, well above a forecast level of 654,000 tonnes and 22.8% above the 562,000 tonnes recorded in 2015-16.

NR production this March in India reached 55,000 tonnes, 66.7% above the level in the same month last year, the Rubber Board added in a 24 April release.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

ANRPC Releases Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics March 2017

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The monthly bulletin of Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, March 2017 is now available for our subscribers. During the first quarter of 2017, ANRPC member countries are estimated to have produced 2.499 million tonnes of natural rubber (NR), up 2.0% from the same period a year ago. Consumption […]

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World rubber consumption up 1.8 % in 2016, says IRSG

The world total rubber consumption increased to 27.2 million tonnes in 2016 with a 1.8% increase on a year-over-year, driven by strong market activities in China, especially in Q4 2016, according to the latest statistics from the International Rubber Study Group(IRSG). The auto industry in China registered a rapid growth, with its sales and production both hitting new records in 2016, signalling a recovery from Chinese manufacturing recession.

Read the source article at Rubber Asia