ERJ staff report (DS)
Leverkusen, Germany -- Dr. Guenther Weymans, Head of the Technical Rubber Products business unit of Lanxess AG, said the crisis in the rubber industry is over, "provided the economic climate continues to remain stable."
Weymans, speaking at a press conference prior to the K-2010 event, said, "We are currently seeing clear signs of recovery." He added that demand for butyl rubber form the Asia-Pacific region has grown faster than the rest of the world, and now represents 50 percent of Lanxess' butyl sales, compared with 35 percent in 2006. Weymans continued, "The Chinese market for nitrile rubber is showing double-digit growth - faster than anywhere else."
Weymans confirmed Lanxess' joint venture with TSRC in Nantong, China saying the project is still awaiting approvals from the Chinese anti-trust authorities. Assuming permission is granted, the Euro 36 million project will begin producing up to 30 kt of nitrile rubber per year from the first half of 2012.
Referring to te medical stoppers business, Weymans noted that China has made the use of halo-butyl rubber mandatory in this application, while India is considering similar policies. Historically, non-halogenated butyl rubber has been used in this application. Medical applications take 10 percent of Lanxess butyl rubber, up from 5 percent, in the past. Weymans said this trend of faster than trendline growth will continue in the medical stoppers business.
Weymans noted that Lanxess will continue to sell and promote non-halogenated butyl rubber, casting a dig at competing suppliers who, he said, have focussed on halo-butyls at the expense of the more conventional material.
Weymans said Lanxess will treat small order enquiries "with as much respect" as those seeking to buy 100 times the volume. He said this approach, "is integral to our new strategy"
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DownloadWeymans' Speech from Lanxess