Outlook bright for carbon black?

Can major manufacturers continue on the track of strong market growth and investment seen last year?

After a period of strong demand and tightness of supply the carbon black market showed signs of cooling towards the end 2018.

Birla Carbon president Europe & Africa, John Davidson is detecting “cautious optimism” in his region for the rest of the year, with predictions of 1-2% growth in Europe.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Birla Carbon to raise carbon black prices in U.S.

curata__RddTZxriOljgNM7.jpeg

MARIETTA, Ga.—Birla Carbon will raise base prices for all its carbon black markets in North America, a move it says is driven by increasing operating costs.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Cabot to implement feedstock surcharge for carbon blacks

curata__TRTIkOnuS4JDOQk.jpeg

Boston, Massachusetts – Cabot Corp. will be applying a feedstock surcharge of $0.01/pound to all carbon black products sold in North America as of 1 April.

The move, said an 11 March Cabot statement, is in response to “significant carbon black feedstock costs, which are not fully reflected in fuel oil price indices.”

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Rubber chemical traders converge for RCMA Silver Jubilee fete

curata__QhHryQ0e909JFj1.jpeg

The Rubber Chemical Merchants Association (RCMA) celebrated its Silver Jubilee (25th anniversary) in Mumbai recently by organising an event styled Optima 6, a platform for rubber chemical traders across the country for networking and knowledge-sharing.

The theme of the networking event was: ‘Trade Openness, Boosting Competitiveness.’ Dr Parimal Merchant, Director – Global FMB Program at S. P. Jain School of Global Management, delivered a talk on current issues in family business.

Read the source article at Rubber Asia

Increasing carbon black capacity an industry priority, latest Smithers Rapra research shows

curata__IjMRRdxK2bzBjja.jpeg

Increasing carbon black capacity an industry priority, latest Smithers Rapra research shows

According to The Future of Carbon Black to 2023, a new market report from Smithers Rapra, increasing carbon black production capacity is an industry priority for the five years to 2023. More than 70% of all carbon black produced is used in the production of tires, and demand for the fossil fuel-based rubber reinforcing agent continues to grow in relation to increasing global vehicle and tire demand. Industrial and middle class growth in emerging markets is driving the need for greater carbon black supply.

Data from the new Smithers Rapra market report estimates global carbon black demand at around 12.03 million tons in 2013. The market will increase to a projected total of 14.55 million tons in 2018. Across the same time period the projected value in the market has risen from $18.1 billion to $19.9 billion.

Global demand for carbon black is forecast to increase to reach almost 18 million tons in 2023, an average year-on-year increase of 4.3%, Smithers Rapra data shows. Total value will increase significantly faster and the market will be worth $30.4 billion. The market is driven primarily by continued large investments in capacity for passenger vehicle tires and light truck tires, and a stable replacement market. Carbon black has a stable growth profile, with a compound annual growth rate (by volume) of around 3.9% during 2013–18.

Several key trends are driving the increased demand for carbon black globally.

Changes in the tire market

Because the tire industry consumed 73.5% of the global volumes of carbon black in 2017, changes in the tire manufacturing industry are putting new pressures on carbon black producers. In the US, capacity utilization in all sectors of tire production is in the 70%–80% range, but tire size and structure are changing. Tires are getting wider with smaller sidewalls, which creates more demand for tread blacks, and less demand for carcass carbon blacks. The most popular rim size has increased from 14-16 inches and reached 18 inches in 2018.

Industry consolidation

There is a trend toward merger and acquisition (M&A) activities in the carbon black industry worldwide. The growing consolidation within the carbon black industry is inevitable to meet market demand for quality products at competitive pricing. This benefits larger suppliers.

The top three carbon black producers are Cabot, Aditya Birla and Orion Engineered Carbons. In

2017 these three companies produced around 39.2% of global supply. To meet growing demand, Cabot has strengthened its position with multiple expansion projects, while Aditya Birla has doubled its capacity by acquiring Columbian Chemical’s assets. The India-based firm is now present in 12 countries with 17 manufacturing facilities.

For Chinese producers the emphasis is more on increasing operating rates and realizing higher pricing and profit margins. However, still more new carbon black production capacity is required to meet the growing demand during 2018–23.

Environmental issues and government regulations

Environmental issues and national government regulations are playing an important role in the M&A activity, shifting production sites around the world; as does a renewed focus on lean manufacturing. In the US, for example, the five major domestic carbon black makers have signed consent agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – three of them in 2017 – to reduce toxic emissions from their plants. The expense of complying with these environmental consent agreements will hamper investment in production capacity to the end of the current decade.

Shifting trade patterns

The international market in carbon black trading across 2013–23 will experience change. Most significantly, since 2015 North America has become a net importer, due to an increase in demand for carbon black based on reinvigorated domestic tire production. Since 2015 the Middle East has switched from net imports to exports. New production facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have created a surplus of carbon black for exporting within the Middle East, and beyond its borders to Africa and Western Europe.

China was the leading global exporter of the commodity, and this is expected to continue during 2018–23. Thailand and Indonesia are its main trade partners, followed by India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Recently, China has started to export more carbon black to the US, Western Europe, Poland and Turkey. This has led to protectionist measures – anti-dumping measures in some countries – most recently in India and the US.

For more information about Smithers Rapra’s The Future of Carbon Black to 2023 market report, visit: https://www.smithersrapra.com/market-reports/tire-industry-market-reports/the-future-of-carbon-black-to-2023.

 

Phillips Carbon Black plans overseas R&D centre

Phillips Carbon Black Ltd. (PCBL) is planning to set up an overseas R&D centre, its chairman Sanjiv Goenka said.

This centre is likely to help the company find new applications and a diversified product mix for the carbon black that PCBL produces across its four plants in India. It plans to double the share of value-added products to 15% in two years. Indications were that the R&D centre may be located in Europe and could be either a new unit or acquired.

Read the source article at The Hindu

Zeppelin hopes to stand out with new technology

HOUSTON—Zeppelin Systems GmbH has what it claims is the most complete range of technology for those needing turnkey mixing systems in the tire and rubber product industries, and that breadth of offerings has helped the group increase growth during the last decade in the U.S. and abroad.

The Zeppelin Systems business is part of Germany’s Zeppelin GmbH, and is part of the Plant Engineering Group, said Christian Tittensor, director of sales and marketing for plastics and rubber plants at Houston-based Zeppelin Systems USA Inc.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Enviro pursues joint venture businesses in US

Gothenburg, Sweden – Scandinavian Enviro Systems AB (Enviro) has advanced its tire recycling ambitions in the US, with plans to set up at least two joint venture businesses in the country.

The Swedish recovered carbon black (rCB) producer announced 12 Dec that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EE-TDF Cleveland LLC to build a 30-kilotonnes-per-annum (ktpa) tire pyrolysis JV to produce rCB from end-of-life tires.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

It’s boom time for rubber chemicals industry

The global rubber processing chemicals market is witnessing rapid expansion thanks to the increasing demand from the tyre and automotive industries and their application across diverse industries.

The tyre industry is the major consumer of rubber chemicals, holding over 70% of the market share. Use of rubber processing chemicals make tyres durable and provides them strength to withstand harsh environment. The demand from the tyre industry is projected to rise further with the expansion of the automotive industry.

Read the source article at Rubber Asia

Cabot plant celebrates 75 years

curata__KxXFtEQZovWU3Nh.jpeg

On 25 November, Cabot Corporation’s Ville Platte, Los Angeles carbon black manufacturing facility celebrated 75 years in operation. Established in 1943, Cabot Ville Platte is the oldest plant in Cabot’s network, and today operates four manufacturing units that produce 11 different grades of carbon black, primarily sold to customers throughout North America for rubber reinforcement applications.

Read the source article at Tyrepress