Industry

Chloroprene Rubber Shortage Intensifies Worldwide, Affecting Japanese Firms

Chloroprene rubber (CR) is continuing to face a global shortage. Japanese CR manufacturers are already at their limit, holding down exports to prioritize domestic supply, while both producers and users of the product are struggling to navigate a situation where there are no expectations of a falloff in demand. A representative of one Japanese CR manufacturer has said that his...

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Half of Japan’s Rubber Manufacturers Miss New Graduate Hiring Target

A recent Japan Rubber Weekly survey has found that, between the 23 major rubber and synthetic rubber manufacturers who responded, a total of 1,096 new graduates have been hired in the Japanese rubber industry for spring 2018. This figure is down by 21 graduates, or 1.9 percent, from the 1,117 new graduates hired by the respondents last spring. However, 10...

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CSJ Recognizes Late Professor’s Historical Synthetic Rubber Invention as Chemical Heritage

The Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ) has selected synthetic rubber created using monovinyl acetylene (MVA) as one of three historical chemical developments to be newly deemed “chemical heritage”. The MVA production method for synthetic rubber was invented by the late Junji Furukawa, a professor emeritus from Kyoto University’s Faculty of Engineering. Synthetic rubber made using the method successfully completed industrial...

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Rubber Unions Increase Demands on Tire Manufacturers

Member unions of the Japanese Rubber Workers Union Confederation (JRC) have submitted their wage demands at the group’s annual spring labor offensive, directing most of their efforts toward large rubber companies. Looking specifically at the per-company wage demands for 35-year-old workers in the tire industry, unions are demanding a 5,600 yen ($52.70) increase from Bridgestone Corp. (TYO:5108), a 5,500 yen...

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Kuraray Announces Plan to Form Butadiene Derivatives JV With PTTGC, Sumitomo

Kuraray Co. Ltd. (TYO:3405) announced on March 7 that it has inked a joint venture agreement with Sumitomo Corp. (TYO:8053) and Thai-based PTT Global Chemical PCL (PTTGC) for a butadiene derivative business. The three companies began detailed feasibility studies in September 2016. Ahead of the final decision on investment, they signed an agreement to hold further discussions and to file...

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Construction Equipment Demand Expected to Boost High-Pressure Hoses in 2018

Business is expected to stay robust for the construction machinery industry, which is a major source of demand for high-pressure hoses. According to data recently released by the Japan Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA), the shipment value of construction equipment is expected to rise 5 percent year-on-year for fiscal 2018, reaching a total of 2.4 trillion yen ($22.61 billion). Driven...

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