The rubber industry saw solid growth in 2017, and it looks as though this trend is likely to continue. Reports show that demand for rubber products, particularly those used in the industrial sector is set to go up. This combined with the rebounding natural rubber prices of 2017 and the growth of machinery production and investment is great news for suppliers and should lead to a decrease in, and hopefully an end to, the supply deficits we’ve seen in the past few years.
But great opportunities need competent and intelligent thinkers to realize. Fortunately, that’s something that the rubber industry has in great supply. The industry is ripe with seasoned experts, but what is especially exciting is the wealth of younger workers within it. There’s a surprising and heartening number of people in their 30s and even 20s entering the field. It’s clear to see how this is a great thing for the industry. Any fears that rubber is a sector that doesn’t have enough youth to sustain its future are clearly unfounded, as younger professionals can be found at all levels, from scientists and manufacturers to managers and partners. It’ll be exciting to see how the younger generation handles and excels in this turbulent, but potentially a very productive upcoming year.
There are also exciting developments on the horizon, particularly in regard to increasing the sustainability of rubber production. Rubber tree plantations, once a large contributor to deforestation are becoming less so, as more and more companies realize that current harmful practices are unhealthy and unnecessary. The trend of big manufacturers showing a commitment to sustainability, which began with Michelin in 2016, continued with GM in 2017 with the company’s announcement to improve rubber supply worldwide through collaborations with suppliers.
Passaic Rubber has been around since 1919, but to us, each new year still feels as exciting as the last. And we can’t wait to share 2018 with you as we anticipate the changes and opportunities in store for the coming year. So have a great new year and remember that we’re always here to supply you and your business with all your rubber needs.