NUREMBERG, Germany (July 7, 2009)—Unlabelled oils and oil-extended rubber materials are likely to be in short supply in the weeks prior to the advent of the new EU restriction on labeled oils.
From Jan. 1, 2010, the EU will ban all products containing oils which require a label warning of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon content.
Just six months before the ban comes into effect, only a small proportion of the oils being used in the rubber industry are unlabeled oils. According to industry sources, most tire and rubber companies have developed new recipes and run successful trials based on unlabeled oils.
However, the same sources suggest that many companies had intended to run the more expensive unlabelled oils throughout their production processes for six to nine months prior to the deadline, but the financial crisis has led most to continue using the cheaper oils until the last possible moment. Almost all of these plan to convert in the weeks before the ban comes into effect.
Thorsten Lutze global sales director of Nynas, a leading supplier of unlabeled oils, said the company is putting in place new storage and logistical facilities to cope with the expected demand, but already the company has allocated all the supplies it expects to have available in North America.
Resources destined for the EU and Asia are fast getting booked into customers who are planning ahead, he said.
Lutze noted that any customer who leaves ordering the new oils until the last minute risks the possibility that there will be insufficient material available to meet their needs in the mid-term.