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Chinese demand for rubber likely to increase: Sunny Song
21 Feb 2014
China is now having the highest stock of rubber in its history, but the demand would continue to rise in future, said Ms. Sunny Song, Director, China Rubber Industry Association.
The second day deliberations of the India Rubber Meet 2014 started with the invited talk of Ms. Sunny Song on the subject ‘Outlook on China’s auto rubber industry, rubber goods sector and demand for NR/SR’. She said that the macro economic stability, consumer competitiveness and urbanisation process in China have created new demand in all spheres of rubber industry and the country is becoming more powerful in industrial field. China’s GDP grew by 7.7 per cent, in line with last year, and completed the Plan proposed at the beginning of the year, she added. Her presentation covered the operation of auto industry and rubber industry in China in 2013 and its influence on the demand for natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR). The deliberations were made from four parts viz. macro economics, automobile industry, main rubber goods and demand for SR /NR in China.
Ms. Fazilet Cinaralap, Secretary-General, European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association gave the second talk of the day on ‘ New legislations for auto tyres and implications for rubber sector’. She said that regulations in the auto tyre sector have a significant impact on the competitiveness of the industry and regulation needs to be sustainable too. It is essential that policy makers at all levels should ensure a long term vision, addressing fair access to raw material markets, removing barriers to trade and stepping up efforts to ensure that all actors in the market play by the same set of rules. There should be a global harmonisation of standards when developing new technical prescriptions and regulations and the proper enforcement of the adopted legislation is essential for obtaining the desired goals, she added.
She also said that the automobile industry is the engine of the world economy and 60 per cent of the oil consumption in the world is for transportation. Therefore regulation on tyre quality is essential owing to economical and envioronmental concerns. The regulations should control and guarantee the conformity of the production process and the tyre performance. She also reminded the social request for safer, sustainable, lighter and more durable raw materials and products.
The next deliberation was on the subject ‘Current trends, emerging developments and challenges for global rubber industry’ from Mr. James L. McGraw, MD & CEO, International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers Inc. He pointed that globally large scale investment is being made in the synthetic rubber industry and the production capacity is much more than the current demand. Further, the change over to shale gas in fuel industry may result in lower production of butadiene rubber.
Dr. P.S. Ravishankar (ExxonMobile, Texas, USA)gave the last talk of the day on ‘Technology evolutions in elastomer industry’. The demand for increasing the fuel efficiency of automobiles and tyre labelling has been key drivers for new innovation in elastomer industry. Halobutyle has become the polymer of choice for tyre inner liners. Propylene based elastomers are the new generation products which may be useful for various applications in future.
The talks were followed by the panel discussion on ‘Indian Rubber Scenario: stake holder’s perspective’. Sri. Sandana Dass (CEO, R1 International Group, Singapore)was the moderator. Sri. N. Dharmaraj (Chief Executive, Harrisons Malayalam Ltd.) Adv. Siby J. Monippally(General Secretary, Indian Rubber Growers Association), Sri Satish Abraham (President, Association of Latex Producers of India), Sri. Ronny Joseph Thomas (Secretary, Indian Block Rubber Association), Sri. George Valy (President, Indian Rubber Dealers’ Federation), Sri. Virendra Rathod (Head, Synthetic Rubber Business, Reliance Industries Ltd.), Sri. Harsh Gandhi ( Executive Director, GRP Ltd), Sri. Rajiv Budhraja (Director-General, ATMA), Sri. Niraj I. Thakkar ( President, AIRIA), Dr. R. Mukhopadhyay (Chairman, Indian Rubber Institute) and Sri. M.F.Vohra (Chairman, Rubber Committee, CAPEXIL) were the panalists.
The organising committee resolved to hold the next India Rubber Meet (IRM 2015) in Kochi itself, in March 2015.