We've compiled what the editorial staff saw as the 10 biggest stories in the industry. In addition, we've put together a recap to some of the other major events that had a broad impact in a variety of industry sectors.
As we prepare for another exciting year, join us as we look back at 2017.
We started our countdown with Judit Puskas, whose career was celebrated this year when she became the first female recipient of the ACS Rubber Division's Charles Goodyear Medal, and continued with a look at the slow rebound of the oil and gas industry.
We also examined the merger between chemical giants Dow and Dupont and looked at the fines Goodyear received after the deaths of five workers. We explored how Hurricane Harvey impacted the industry, how GM is shaping it with its commitment to sustainable natural rubber, and how import duties may affect manufacturing.
Our list also reviewed how tire manufacturers and labor unions found common ground on new contracts, and looked back on the tire plant groundbreakings and grand openings that are bringing jobs to the U.S.
Today, we finish our look back at 2017 with the No. 1 story of the year.
1. Supply imbalance
Higher raw materials prices are the gift that keeps on giving, all the way down the supply chain.
Manufacturers throughout the industry, from big tire to rubber shops, had to deal with a roller coaster year for synthetic rubber pricing, which saw increases for chloroprene rubber, EPDM, SBR, nitriles, latexes, fluoroelastomers and other various thermoplastic elastomers.
Companies including Arlanxeo, Chemours Co., Denka, DuPont, Kraiburg TPE, Kraton, Kuraray, Lion Elastomers, Omnova Solutions, Showa Denko, Tosoh, Wacker and Zeon all increased prices for various synthetic rubber compounds.