market conditions

Rubber Industry Sees Solid Demand for Raw Materials in First Half

The first half of calendar 2018 has seen robust demand for raw materials in the rubber industry. This comes on the back of recovering applications in automobiles and tires – the main sources of demand for the materials – as well as strong demand for semiconductors. Due to a rise in the cost of crude oil, prices have increased for...

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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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Bridgestone CEO Comments on Recent Troubles in Japanese Manufacturing

Bridgestone Corp. (TYO:5108) CEO Masaaki Tsuya recently offered comments regarding the series of problems this year that some say has shaken confidence in Japanese manufacturing. Speaking at a year-end press conference, Tsuya said that he does not believe that confidence in Japanese manufacturing has been undermined. He maintained that the earnestness and strong work ethic of Japanese people has not...

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Strong Demand for Robotics-Related Rubber Products

The robotics industry is booming as manufacturers cut personnel costs and supplement scarce human resources through production line automation and workforce reduction. According to statistics reported by the Japan Robot Association (JARA), 55,998 robotic devices were produced during the July-September quarter, up 44.9 percent from the same quarter of the previous year. Shipment value amounted to 195.95 billion yen ($1.73...

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Rubber Hoses See Solid Demand for Automotive and High-Pressure Applications

Production and shipments for rubber and resin hoses are on an upward trend. Automotive and high-pressure rubber hoses have been solid performers on the back of a recovery in domestic automotive production volume and robust demand for construction equipment and machine tools. Resin hoses and tubes have also been going strong, supported by firm demand from the semiconductor industry. This...

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Japanese Glove Sales Remain Strong as Focus on Work Safety Grows

Japan’s domestic sales volumes of glove products remained firm in 2016, up slightly from the year before, according to a report by the Japan Glove Manufacturers Association. Domestic sales of household gloves totaled 91.84 million pairs during 2016, up 0.2 percent from the previous year, while sales for surgical gloves increased 1.5 percent to 79.02 million pairs. Ultra-thin disposable gloves...

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