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Butadiene Shortage Prompts Cooper to Curtail North American Production

For the last month or so, I’ve been hearing reports that a shortage of butadiene was causing sporadic supply problems in SBR and BR, causing several temporary shutdowns at US tire plants.

On Monday, June 23, 2008, Cooper Tire & Rubber announced that it has reduced production at its North American facilities during the second quarter to counter decreased demand and projected shortages of certain raw materials. The production curtailments during the second quarter will cost in the estimated range of $12 million to $14 million. Cooper did not disclose the depth of the production cuts, the product lines or facilities affected, the length of the curtailment, or whether the moves would result in worker layoffs.

On Tuesday, Tire Business (subscription required) reported that, according to a Cooper spokesman, the curtailment was prompted by shortages of synthetic rubber (caused by a butadiene shortage), along with reduced demand.

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