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

Smithers Rapra: Motorcycle tire demand spurred by trends in emerging markets and technology

curata__IjMRRdxK2bzBjja.jpeg

Rising incomes in emerging markets have led to the rapid growth of motorcycle ownership, particularly in Asia, resulting in a strong increase in motorcycle tire sales. Growth is being driven by the increasing number of households in industrializing regions that are now able to afford motorcycles.

Motorcycle tire market demand is estimated to rise to $19.4 billion in 2023, representing an annual compound growth of 6.5% from $14.2 billion in 2018, according to Smithers Rapra data.

In the report The Future of Motorcycle Tires to 2023, Smithers Rapra attributes growth to rising living standards, urbanization and mobility improvements, demographics, and technological changes. Those with disposable income are showing growing interest in motorcycles, including electric and self-balancing models and other new technologies.

The highest growth is seen in the Asia-Pacific region, driven by China and India. Data shows that by 2023, Asia-Pacific’s region share will be over 16 million units. Japan-based multinational companies such as Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha dominate the two-wheeler sector’s world market.

Trends in mobility

The evolution of mobility and transportation technologies, along with road conditions, play a role in customer preferences, driving patterns, tire wear, and ultimately motorcycle and tire design.

The role of motorcycle tires is complex, and they must satisfy performance and safety parameters depending on the application and type of motorcycle. There is extreme variation of motorcycle tire types depending on vehicle characteristics, intended driving surfaces, and tire construction.

Evolving tire construction

Developments in tire materials continue to include new compounds, as well as a greater range of compounds, to optimize the attributes most required by industry and to better target tires to applications, according to Smithers Rapra.

Among performance and safety attributes, grip remains the most important and is still being improved even as other attributes compete for attention. A trend towards a richer silica content is ongoing, owing to the importance of grip. Carbon black is also important, with the grades used in motorcycle tires similar to those used in ultra-high-performance and race car tires. Traditionally, all motorcycle tires were bias ply. A clear trend for motorcycles up to 400cc is the increased use of radial tires, especially seen in Asia and South America where they are equipped on more sporty motorcycles.

The impact of electrification

Electrification will initiate further tire evolution, as will the requirements of motorcycle connectivity and progressive automation, leading eventually to ‘smart’ tires. Tires will be expected to have sensors measuring and reporting pressure, temperature, grip, road surface conditions, and tire wear/condition.

Smithers Rapra market report The Future of Motorcycle Tires to 2023 offers in-depth analysis of  the economic demand and growth of the global motorcycle tire market from 2018-2023, and cutting-edge technology developments in materials, components, design, and safety attributes.

Read the source article at smithersrapra.com

Cabot reinforcement segment reports jump in sales, earnings

curata__MOngFtBo2dfom8U.jpeg

BOSTON—Cabot’s reinforcement materials segment, which includes its rubber carbon black business, has posted a 33 percent year-on-year growth in full-year earnings (EBITDA) to $350 million.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Synthetic rubber prices likely to remain volatile

curata__6SKc0SOUmFAYIIN.jpeg

AKRON—Prices for synthetic rubber and petrochemical feedstocks have been “incredibly volatile” and are likely to remain so for a while, according to a speaker at the International Tire Exhibition & Conference in Akron Sept. 11-13.

“Energy- and economy-related fundamentals in the synthetic rubber market are encouraging, but risks abound,” said Bill Hyde, executive director-olefins and elastomers at IHS Markit.

Read the source article at Global Rubber Markets News

Cabot acquires Chinese carbon black manufacturer

curata__4NYY45SB9qtoe4s.jpeg

BOSTON – Cabot Corp. has acquired Chinese carbon black manufacturing company NSCC Carbon (Jiangsu) Co. Ltd., from Nippon Steel Carbon Co.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News