As Europe marches toward a total ban on Russian imports of carbon black and synthetic rubber next July, rubber industry players are getting used to what some are calling their "new normal."
When Russia started its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, there was an immediate cry to ban anything coming in from Russia, including rubber goods and the materials used to make them.
It wasn't until the European Union's 10th package of sanctions against Europe, however, that the EU passed the ban on SR and carbon black imports. It was a politically charged issue, as some nations lobbied against the action.
That led to a more than yearlong run-up to the ban, with quotas in the interim capping the imports of those materials at levels that some in the sector criticized as being ridiculously high, well above what had been shipped in before the war.