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Synthetic rubber prices keep plummeting in Europe17 Jul 2019 / ChemCourier. Synthetic Rubber. Europe / prices & market situation

Synthetic rubber prices have kept falling in July due to summer holiday season just as European market players expected. A surplus of SR has been persisting for a good few months because tyre producers are showing weak demand amid the global car market downtrend. The arbitrage window to Asia has remained closed as the Chinese market situation has not improved since last month. Therefore, rubber has followed feedstock depreciation. Reminder: quotations for butadiene, styrene and acrylonitrile have dropped simultaneously this month. Thus, those for SBR grades have decreased by around €60—70/t, with dry E-SBR being on offer at an average of €1,140—1,200/t FCA Eastern Europe in mid-July. NBR prices have lost €50/t compared to the June level, lacking any support from acrylonitrile ones, which have reversed its trend this month. The commodity has changed hands at €1,750—1,800/t DEL Eastern Europe. PBR has been available for sale at around €1,400/t FCA Eastern Europe in July.

Some market players hope for some improvements in Asian region in long-term perspective, which would help revive trade in Europe as well. According to the data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, total month-on-month vehicle sales increased by 7.5% in June 2019 in China. This news has made some market players more optimistic about future SR market development. However, China’s car sales are still much lower this year than in 2018, having shown a year-on-year 9.6% decline in June and a 12.4% one in H1 2019.

Trade in synthetic rubber is unlikely to rally at least until early September. The market will remain oversupplied in August. Prices will depend mostly on changes in feedstock quotations. The August MCP for styrene and butadiene is under negotiation now. Styrene, unlike butadiene, may appreciate somewhat.

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Great Wall Motors launches mass production in Russia16 Jul 2019 / ChemCourier. Synthetic Rubber. Europe / company news

Great Wall Motors started production at its Haval Motor Manufacturing Rus plant in Uzlovaya industrial Park, Tula Oblast, in June. The plant is the first Chinese fully integrated automaker based in Russia. Reminder: the construction began in H2 2015. The project investments exceeded $500 million. The plant will be capable of producing 80,000 cars per year at the first stage, the automaker’s press service has informed. Stamping, welding, painting, assembly and parts production shops are operating at the site now.

The plant currently produces Comfort, Elite and Premium configurations of Haval F7 SUVs with 1.5- and 2-litre engines. The auto maker also plans to have launched production of H9 and F7x SUV models by the end of this year. The plant is expected to reach annual design capacity of 150,000 cars by the beginning of 2020. The startup of Haval Motor Manufacturing Rus will be conducive to the Russian passenger car tyre market expansion.

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Single-use plastic shopping bags banned in New Zealand2 Jul 2019 / ChemCourier. Polyolefins Market Weekly / regulations

Single-use plastic shopping bags have been banned as of 1 July 2019 in New Zealand in an effort to reduce the amounts of plastic in the environment. Businesses cannot provide their customers with single-use plastic shopping bags now.

The ban applies to all the new single-use shopping bags with handles made of up to 70-micron thick plastic. This includes light-weight plastic bags commonly found at supermarkets, takeaway food and other retail checkouts, heavier boutique-style plastic shopping bags commonly found at department or clothing stores and ‘emergency’ bags offered by some supermarkets as an alternative to a free single-use plastic bag.

Over 80 countries have already introduced similar bans pursuant to the UN Environment Programme.


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