Market Background

Major Japanese Tire Firms Plan Price Hikes in Response to Surging Distribution Costs

Japan’s four largest tire manufacturers have now all announced price increases on aftermarket tires for domestic sale. After Bridgestone Corp. (TYO:5108) announced such a price hike on June 5, Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (TYO:5101) came out with its own on June 14, with Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (TYO:5110) then following suit on June 21 and Toyo Tire Corp. (TYO:5105) on...

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Tokyo Zairyo Posts Decreased Sales and Net Profit, Record-High Ordinary Profit for 2018

Tokyo Zairyo Co. Ltd., a raw materials trading firm operating as part of the Zeon Group, recently posted a mixed bag of results for fiscal 2018. The company’s sales for the year fell 0.2 percent year-on-year to end at 93.12 billion yen ($863.67 million), with ordinary profit up 3.6 percent to 2.06 billion yen and net profit down 6.8 percent...

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Japanese Production of Transmission Belts Falls Year-on-Year Amid Shifts in Automotive Sector

Japan’s domestic production of transmission belts fell 2 percent year-on-year in 2018 to end at 11,701 tons, according to statistics from the Japan Belting Manufacturers Association. General-purpose industrial products performed well for the year, with demand increasing for use in the likes of semiconductor production equipment, injection molding machines, machine tools and industrial robots. This was offset, however, by a...

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Mitsuboshi Belting Targets R&D, Increased Production in Largest Ever Plan for Capital Investment

Mitsuboshi Belting Ltd. (TYO:5192) is setting aside approximately 5.7 billion yen ($52.64 million) for capital investments in fiscal 2019, marking a 74 percent increase over fiscal 2018 to make for the company’s largest ever year of such investments. This will go toward updating and expanding the company’s production facilities, both in Japan and abroad; enriching test research facilities; and reconstructing...

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Global Supply Remains Tight for Chloroprene Rubber

The global supply–demand balance for chloroprene rubber (CR) continues to sit tight. And with no significant reversal expected in these market conditions for the time being, CR manufacturers are rushing to deal with the situation. In Japan, this has seen Tosoh Corp. (TYO:4042) recently give details on a plan to bolster its production capacity for CR, set to be achieved...

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Rubber Sheet Industry Sees Strong Demand From Major Customers But Faces High Raw Material Costs

Japanese rubber sheet manufacturers are showing largely positive business results for fiscal 2018. In addition to rubber sheets performing well in the automotive sector and the infrastructure and construction sector – which serve as the two primary sources of demand for such sheets – a healthy economy has led to activity in a wide range of other sectors too, causing...

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