TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday, with Brent crude hitting a 26-month high, supported by Turkey's threat to cut crude flows from Iraq's Kurdistan region to the outside world. London Brent crude for November delivery (LCOc1) was up 46 cents at $59.48 a barrel by 0356 GMT after settling up 3.8 percent on Monday. Earlier it hit $59.49, the highest since July 10, 2015. U.S. crude for November delivery (CLc1) was up 15 cents at $52.37, after hitting $52.43, a five-month high. Brent's rise meant it extended gains for a fifth straight day, jumping from just over $55 a barrel a week ago, as OPEC and non-OPEC producers confirmed the market was well on its way toward rebalancing, while oil demand looked strong. Also fuelling the jump on Tuesday was Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's threat on Monday to cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world, intensifying pressure on the Kurdish autonomous region over its independence referendum. The pipeline to Turkey's port of Ceyhan usually pumps between 500,000-600,000 barrels per day. "The high compliance of producers in jointly curbing output as well as the news of (Turkey's response to) the referendum have helped oil prices," said Tomomichi Akuta, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo. "Brent prices could top $60 (a barrel), supported by the short squeeze." U.S. crude has lagged behind in comparison amid a large oversupply exacerbated by Hurricane Harvey, which forced the closure of nearly 25 percent of U.S. refining capacity. Refineries in Philadelphia have cut rates because crude deliveries have been slowed by rough seas as Hurricane Maria headed north along the Atlantic Coast. The spread between WTI and Brent futures widened to $7.17, its steepest since August 2015. U.S. crude inventories likely rose by 2.3 million barrels last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday ahead of data by the Industry group the American Petroleum Institute. Analysts forecast that stockpiles of gasoline likely fell by 1 million barrels, while distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were projected to fall 2.5 million barrels. The API is scheduled to release its data for last week at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT). Source: (25/09/2017)

Tyre manufacturing company Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is acquiring Ventech Systems GmbH, a Germany-based manufacturer of automated tyre inspection systems, from its parent company, Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH. Founded in 2006, Ventech Systems delivers innovative measuring devices for the vehicle industry. It provides a fully-automated tyre inspection system that quickly and easily checks tyre pressure, tread depth and vehicle weight for buses, trucks, cars and other vehicles. “Over the past three years, our Goodyear Proactive Solutions business has collaborated with Ventech Systems to integrate its data gathering and analysis capabilities into our fleet management solution,” said Christopher Helsel, Goodyear vice president and chief technology officer. “Feedback from our fleet customers has been excellent, and we view this as an important opportunity to enhance our service and value proposition for customers.” “Goodyear and Ventech Systems are both companies founded and driven by innovation,” said Andreas Pietsch, Ventech Systems chief operating officer and business manager. “Goodyear’s strong market presence enables additional worldwide growth opportunities for Ventech Systems. We are excited to support Goodyear’s fleet customers with our unique technology in terms of process optimisation, business efficiency and road safety.” Truck tyre care and maintenance is one of the largest contributors to commercial fleet uptime and total cost of operations. Last year, Goodyear launched Goodyear Proactive Solutions in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region to provide a full suite of demonstrated Vehicle-To-Fleet operations management solutions supporting fleet owners to improve vehicle and fleet safety, decrease fuel use, reduce their carbon footprint and support the digital transformation of their fleet. The acquisition of Ventech Systems will further expand Goodyear Proactive Solutions’ commercial offerings with an efficient, user-friendly closed loop service enabling fleet operators to measure tyre pressure, tread depth and vehicle weight on all their vehicles each time they enter or exit their depot. In addition to its Goodyear Proactive Solutions mobile tire/fleet management offerings, Goodyear is also working with automakers to provide tyre information to vehicle control systems to enhance safety and performance. Earlier this month it announced that it is equipping Tesloop, a city-to-city mobility service that exclusively uses Tesla electric vehicles, with wireless sensors in its tires to improve over all tyre management and maximize up time for its growing fleet. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The business and technology will be integrated into the company’s Goodyear Proactive Solutions business. Source: rubberjournalasia (25/09/2017)

Japanese auto and truck parts manufacturer Bridgestone Corporation celebrated 50 years of operations in Thailand in a ceremony held in Bangkok on September 18, 2017. Guests at the ceremony included Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, Minister of Science and Technology, Hirunya Suchinai, Secretary-General of the Thailand Board of Investment, and other Thai government officials as well as local business partners. Masaaki Tsuya, Bridgestone Chief Executive Officer, and Kazuhisa Nishigai, Chief Operating Officer also attended the ceremony. At the ceremony, Tsuya thanked the Bridgestone Thailand team and key partners for their role in advancing the Bridgestone business in Thailand while also stating his dedication to contributing to society in the country. Thai Bridgestone Co., Ltd. was established in 1967 as the Bridgestone Group’s first full-fledged operating base in Thailand. Today, the Group owns and operates four tyre factories, five raw material and equipment-related factories, two diversified product factories and other production bases in the country. The Bridgestone Asia Pacific Technical Center Co., Ltd., also based in Thailand, is the centre for the research and development of tyres for the Asia and Pacific region. With these bases as well as a wide-reaching, directly-operated tyre retail network, the Group’s operations in Thailand span the entire value chain. Additionally, Bridgestone announced plans to construct two aircraft tyre solutions business bases in Thailand on December 22, 2016. One base will be located in Rayong Province and will produce new aircraft tyres, while the second base will be located in Chonburi Province and will produce retread aircraft tyres. The Bridgestone Group’s aircraft tyre solutions business is focused on combining products and services to deliver solutions that will help customers achieve their goals. By leveraging the company’s strengths to create innovation, the Group aims to contribute to economic and industrial development in Thailand. Bridgestone also sponsors youth education programmes and provides aid for reconstruction from floods and other natural disasters through its business activities. The Group is committed to offering ongoing support for local communities as a responsible member of society in Thailand. The Bridgestone Group continues to contribute to the realisation of a sustainable society and the resolution of social issues in Thailand and all other countries and regions. The Group aims to act as a responsible corporate citizen. As an industry leader, the Bridgestone Group has a responsibility for the future. The Group seeks to fulfill this responsibility by leveraging its strengths and specialties, and creating innovation and advanced technologies to help deliver higher levels of comfort as people move, live, work and have fun. Source: rubberjournalasia (25/09/2017)

Michelin demonstrates its commitment to responsible and sustainable natural rubber production once again with the launch of Rubberway, a mobile application that is dedicated to following up and respecting best practices for collecting latex, transforming the product industrially and transporting it. The application was presented to the various players in Michelin’s natural rubber supply chain in Singapore on July 6. The world’s largest purchaser of natural rubber, the Michelin Group is committed to responsibly and sustainably managing the rubber production industry. In order to preserve this resource and to manage its social and environmental impact, Michelin has chosen to promote rubber farming while also respecting certain rules throughout the value chain. Established in 2016 with the assistance of NGOs specialised in protecting the environment and human rights, the recommended measures are based on five fundamental axes: respect for people, protection of the environment, improved farming techniques, proper use of natural resources, and good governance practices. To assess respect for these rules, which must take into account the entire industry’s practices, Michelin has designed Rubberway, an application developed in cooperation with SMAG information systems. By collecting data from smallholders, large farms, intermediaries and raw material processing plants, Michelin is taking action transparently while also promoting the use of best practices worldwide. “The digital revolution is an opportunity that benefits all segments of the industry, including the raw material supply chain. Rubberway is a tangible expression of this revolution. Innovative and useful, this mobile application collects and analyses data according to established criteria and maps areas of high social and environmental risks. By sharing this information with our suppliers, we can make a targeted, efficient contribution and improve the industry’s production conditions,” says Luc Minguet, head of Michelin Group Purchasing. Natural rubber is a sustainable raw material that is essential to tyre production. Out of the 30 million people that earn a living from rubber industry around the world, six million work on farms, 85% of which are smaller than four hectares and belong to small landowners. Mapping Michelin’s natural rubber supply chain is a sizable project but this ambitious approach, which is part of a long-term process, will transform the face of the industry, the company says. Michelin has designed its corporate social responsibility commitments for the long term, and a tool like Rubberway will accelerate their assertive approach in the area of sustainable rubber farming. Source: rubber journal asia (25/09/2017)

Kerala, the Southern Indian state which is the capital of rubber production in India, moots to have a factory in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode to manufacture value added products from rubber latex. Kerala accounts for 82 per cent of the country’s rubber production. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed that an expert committee be set up to study the prospects of setting up such a factory in the model of the country’s first public-private funded international airport – Cochin International Airport Limited. Chief Minister asked Chief Secretary K M Abraham to look into the issue, after presiding over a meeting of cabinet colleagues and high ranking officials. Such a factory has been one of the long standing demands of the rubber farming community in Kerala. Kerala has hundreds of rubber cooperative societies which collect the rubber latex from farmers and supply it to big rubber factories in the private sector. Vijayan has asked to examine if these cooperatives can be turned into the lines of the Amul model of cooperatives in Gujarat. Rubber production has been hit by falling price, affecting the livelihoods of close to a million growers and their families in the state. Source: rubber asia (22/09/2017)

Auto Expo, the biggest extravaganza of Indian automotive industry, kick-starts in the second week of February 2018. The Motor Show is scheduled from February 9-14, 2018 at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida. The Components Show will be held at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from February 8-11, 2018. The joint inauguration of Auto Expo 2018 will be held on February 8, 2018. Auto Expo 2018 is jointly organised by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA). The Expo mirrors the rapid growth of the Indian automotive industry. The event has developed into a platform for the automotive industry to exhibit its prowess in manufacturing, R&D, and in future mobility concepts and designs. “The Auto Expo has conventionally been one of the most pursued platforms for the automobile industry in India and with the continued success of the show, it has gained a global thrust giving the participating brands a worldwide exposure. Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2018 is aimed at celebrating the industry’s biggest automotive event offering an opportunity to the Industry and visitors to Co-Create, Co-Exist and Celebrate,” said Vishnu Mathur, Director General, SIAM. Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2018 will be spread across 1,85,000 sq mtrs with all automobile majors participating in 14 indoor exhibition halls. This time there will be special zones for visitors such as Innovation Zone, Destination Zone, Smart Mobility Zone and Competition Zone that would offer world class technology-enabled experiences under one roof. The tickets for the Expo will be available exclusively on in addition to the box office at IEML – Greater Noida and at select Metro Stations in Delhi NCR. The Auto Expo – Component Show 2018, themed ‘Automotive Technologies that Drive the World’ will be spread across 60,000 sq mtrs, with participation from over 1,200 companies. Several international pavilions including those from China, Canada, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the UK will be on display an array of cutting edge component technologies. Overseas delegations from around 15 countries will also participate. The Components Show will have a special emphasis on technologies, product innovations, efficient manufacturing and logistics. Source: rubber asia (25/09/2017)

Total Natural Rubber (NR) exports by Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) amounts to 6.274 million tonnes during the first eight months of 2017. Exports is up by 9.2 per cent from the same period in 2016, said the latest Natural Rubber Trends and Statistics report by ANRPC in August 2017. The revised annual exports of NR by ANRPC member countries is anticipated at 9.421 million tonnes during 2017, up four per cent from 9.061 million tonnes recorded in 2016. The increase is attributed to the revision made by Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Total exports is inclusive of NR exported to China in the form of compound rubber (HS4005.10, 4005.20, 4005.91, 4005.99) and mixture rubber (HS4002.80). Total exports were 5.743 million tonnes during January-August period in 2016. During this period, exports grew among all major exporting countries. Thailand (0.6 per cent), Indonesia (15.2 per cent), Vietnam (9.5 per cent), Malaysia (16.9 per cent) and Cambodia (31.5 per cent) have registered good export figures. The exports by ANRPC member countries is estimated at 8.671 million tonnes during the first eleven months of 2017, up 16.7 per cent from the same period in a year ago. This is based on actual figures up to May 2017, preliminary estimates up to August 2017 and forecasts for September 2017 to November 2017. Source: rubber asia (26/09/2017)

Tokyo, Japan - Automotive rubber parts manufacturer Nishikawa Rubber Co. Ltd. announced it had reached an agreement in principle for a settlement with plaintiffs in a class-action civil lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, involves the company’s sales of automotive sealing components. Nishikawa Rubber has agreed to pay a settlement of approximately $49.29 million, which it plans to report as an extraordinary loss in the second quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2018. A year ago, Nishikawa agreed to plead guilty and pay a $130 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of and rig the bids for automotive body sealing products installed in cars sold to U.S. consumers. Source: rubber world (25/09/2017)

Tokyo, Japan - Showa Denko New Material had a ceremony for the completion of its new plant to produce thermosetting bulk molding compound (BMC) in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China. SDNZ's new plant is the Showa Denko Group's second BMC production base in China, while the first one in China is located in Shanghai. Group's BMC business sector formerly had production bases at three locations, namely, in Japan, Shanghai and Thailand. The production base in Shanghai has been supplying BMC to customers mainly in eastern China, and has been operating at full capacity because sales of BMC in China have been rapidly increasing, centering on the application for automobiles and home electrical appliances. The new plant of SDNZ will supply BMC to customers mainly in southern China. Under its ongoing medium-term consolidated business plan, "Project 2020+," SDK Group positions its business in functional chemicals including BMC as "growth-accelerating" business. SDK Group will make its BMC production system, which comprises four production bases located in Japan, Shanghai, Zhuhai and Thailand, ready to be operated at full capacity as soon as possible, and aggressively expand its functional chemicals business especially in China and ASEAN region where rapid growth of the market is expected. Source: rubber world (25/09/2017)

Brussels, Belgium - Solvay has entered into a binding agreement with German chemical company BASF for the sale of its polyamides business, a crucial step in Solvay’s transformation towards a multi-specialty chemicals company. “Solvay’s planned divestment of polyamides marks a tipping point in the profound transformation journey we began four years ago. Successful completion of this transaction will further reinforce Solvay as a multi-specialty chemical group, delivering superior growth and sustainable value," said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay. BASF is a strategic investor for polyamides which complements both its business as well as its global presence. Solvay and BASF share the same commitment to best-in-class health, safety and environment standards on their sites. Polyamides has grown profitability over the past years. As an integrated player, its activities range from upstream intermediates and polymers, to downstream with the development of high value-added engineering plastics. The transaction covers Solvay’s upstream and downstream polyamides business in Europe, North America and Asia, as well as the downstream engineering plastics business in Latin America and involves around 2,400 Solvay employees. Solvay will retain its upstream intermediates and downstream textile polyamide business in Latin America. Under the proposed terms of the agreement, the transaction is based on an enterprise value of €1.6 billion, which represents ~8 EBITDA of 2016 and ~7 EBITDA in the last twelve months. The expected net cash proceeds are estimated to be around €1.1 billion. Taking into account the financial liabilities of about €0.2 billion to be transferred to the acquirer, the net financial position of the group will improve by about €1.3 billion. The polyamide business planned to be divested will be reclassified to assets and liabilities held for sale and discontinued operations at the end of September. As a result of the discontinuation, the retained Latin American polyamide business will incur an impairment of close to €(100) million to be booked at the end of September. This impairment is expected to be more than compensated by the capital gain on the transaction at the closing. The execution of definitive agreements is expected in the coming months following consultation with the relevant social bodies. Solvay and BASF aim to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2018, after customary regulatory approvals have been obtained and the formal consent of a Joint Venture partner has been received. The partner has already committed to grant its consent subject to the delivery of definitive documents with BASF. Source: rubber world (25/09/2017)