News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

November 1, 2022

Bridgestone will divest Russian operations

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:29 pm

On October 31, Bridgestone Corporation announced it will sell all of its assets in Russia due to the war in Ukraine. The process could take several months. Bridgestone is seeking a buyer for its 80.6 hectare tire plant in Ulyanovsk, which opened in December 2016 and has 2.4 million units per year of capacity for passenger car and light truck tires.

Nokian chooses Romania for new tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:16 pm

Nokian Tyres has announced the location for its new tire plant — Oradea, Romania. The investment will total Euro 650 million and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2023. The factory is expected to begin production in the second half of 2024, with large scale production commencing in early 2025. Nokian said that the plant will be the first zero CO2 emission factory in the tire industry. Capacity in the first phase is 6 million units/year of passenger car tires.

In June 2022, Nokian announced it would exit the Russian market, divesting its factory in Vsevolozhsk, Russia, which opened in 2005 and has capacity to produce 17 million passenger car tires per year. On October 28, Nokian announced it had agreed to sell the factory to P.J.S.C. Tatneft for around $400 million.

October 10, 2022

Cabot raises specialty black prices globally

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:53 pm

On October 6, Cabot Corporation announced it will raise prices globally for carbon black products sold by its specialty carbons business. The increase will be implemented for all shipments on or after November 6, 2022, or as contracts allow. The company said in a press release that the price increase is necessitated by the rise in raw material costs as well as other production-related costs. The increase and timing will vary by product and geography.

August 21, 2022

Notch publishes new report: World Specialty Blacks

Notch Consulting has published a new multi-client market research report, World Specialty Blacks 2022, which covers the global market for premium grades of carbon black used in plastics, inks, paints, batteries, and other non-rubber applications. The report provides historical data from 2011 to 2021 and forecasts for all years from 2022 through 2030. Data provided include specialty blacks demand, market value, production capacity by company and plant, capacity expansion projects, major grades & product lines, and market share by company.

World Specialty Blacks 2022 covers the following product segments:

  • Specialty furnace blacks (i.e., furnace blacks used in non-rubber uses)
  • Modified furnace blacks (e.g., Ensaco)
  • Thermal blacks (including medium and fine thermal black)
  • Acetylene blacks
  • Gas & Lamp blacks
  • Superconductive blacks (e.g., Ketjenblack)
  • Carbon nanotubes (including single-wall and multiwall carbon nanotubes)

Markets covered include:

  • Plastics (Film, Injection/Blow Molding, Wire/Cable, Pipe, Engineering, Fiber)
  • Conductive Polymers (Wire & Cable Semicon, ESD, Conductive Plastics)
  • Ink & Toners (Newsprint, Publication & Packaging Inks, Toners, Inkjets)
  • Batteries (Lithium-Ion, Lead Acid, Dry Cell, Next Generation)
  • Other Markets (Adhesives, Mulch, Rubber Goods, Graphite/Carbon, Insulation)

Companies discussed in the report include Asahi Carbon (Bridgestone), Birla Carbon, Black Diamond Material Science (Black Cat), Cabot Corporation, CSRC Group, Denka Company, Hexing Chemical Industry, Imerys Graphite & Carbon, Jiangsu CNano Technology, Ketjen Black International Company, Mitsubishi Chemical, Monolith Materials, OCSiAl Group, Omsk Carbon Group, Orion Engineered Carbons, PCBL Limited, Shanxi Yongdong Chemistry Industry, TAKREER, Tokai Carbon, Unipetrol, a.s., and Zhongyi Coal Chemical Industry.

The report is distributed as a printable PDF and includes a separate Excel file with extensive supplemental data. World Specialty Blacks was last updated in 2017. Contact Notch at info @ notchconsulting.com for details and subscription rates.

June 29, 2022

Tokai Carbon CB raising carbon black prices in North America

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:57 am

Tokai Carbon CB will raise prices on all grades of carbon black in North America by $0.20/lb effective August 1, 2022. The company said the price increase is necessary to pay higher operating costs associated with ongoing investment in equipment to meet increasingly rigorous environmental standards and higher operating expenses required to ensure continuity and increase overall reliability for customers.

June 20, 2022

Notch presenting at European Carbon Black Summit in Frankfurt this week

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences — Notch @ 2:05 pm

Notch Consulting is presenting a paper at the European Carbon Black Summit being held this week (June 22/23) in Frankfurt. The paper — Carbon Black Global Outlook: the Year in Carbon Black 2022 — looks at the causes of the current supply tightness in Europe and North America. The conference provides two days of talks on carbon black, feedstocks, recovered carbon black, and other topics of interest to the industry. Hope to see you there!

May 26, 2022

Orion expanding gas black capacity, building acetylene black plant

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:51 pm

On May 25, Orion Engineered Carbons announced that it will complete its gas black expansion in Germany at plants in Dortmund and Cologne by early 2023. Orion is the only carbon black producer in the industry with gas black capabilities. Gas blacks, known for excellent dispersion and coloristics, are used in coatings, printing ink and other applications.

“The expansion in Germany is core to our strategy to further strengthen our leadership in the premium specialty market,” Sandra Niewiem, senior vice president of global specialty carbon black and the EMEA region, said in a press release. “As we experience continuous high demand for gas blacks, we are confident that the extra capacity will be welcomed by our customers.”

Earlier this month, Orion announced plans to build the only plant in the U.S. producing acetylene black, a conductive carbon black used in lithium-ion batteries, high-voltage cables and other products powering the global transition to electrification and renewable energy. The factory will be located in La Porte, Texas, south of Houston, and will be will be backed by a long-term agreement for acetylene supplied from a neighboring site owned by Equistar Chemicals LP, a subsidiary of LyondellBasell.

Acetylene is a colorless gas widely used as a chemical building block. Orion’s production process turns acetylene into a powder, which is added to lithium-ion batteries to enhance electrical conductivity. The material plays a similar role in high-voltage cables used for wind and solar farms.

Orion will invest between $120 million to $140 million in the facility, expected to start up in the second half of 2024. This investment should increase the company’s conductive additives capacity by approximately 12 kilotons per year.

“With this investment, we will quadruple our effective manufacturing capacity of acetylene-based conductive additives,” Corning Painter, Orion’s CEO, said in a press release. “We are already experiencing high demand for this material, so expanding capacity for it is one of our top investment priorities and a major milestone in our growth plans. This is a very big day for Orion.”

The company, which has a similar plant in France with locally supplied acetylene gas from LyondellBasell, is the sole producer of acetylene-based conductive additives in the European Union. Demand for battery additives is expected to grow rapidly amid a global boom in the construction of gigafactories making lithium-ion batteries.The plant will have a favorable environmental profile and will be subject to obtaining the routine regulatory approvals.

May 16, 2022

Birla Carbon raising carbon black prices in North America

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:58 pm

Birla Carbon today announced a 15% price increase for all carbon black products manufactured in North America, effective July 1, 2022. All shipments made on or after this date are subject to the price increase.

Increasing costs in materials, freight, logistics, and operations are the key reasons for this necessary change.

Tire Tech Exposition coming this week to Hannover

Filed under: Auto, Carbon Black, Conferences, Tires — Notch @ 3:19 pm

Notch will be presenting a paper on current conditions in the global carbon black industry at the Tire Tech Expo happening this week at the Hannover Messe, Germany. This giant conference/trade show is an absolute must for anyone interested in the tire industry. Notch is presenting on Day 2 (Thursday, May 19) during the “Solutions in Polymer, Filler and Compound Additives” session, which begins at 9:00 AM. There are many, many papers of interest over all three days, as well as a full trade show on-site. Hope to see you there.

Asia Pacific Carbon Black Conference postponed

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences — Notch @ 3:13 pm

The Asia Pacific Carbon Black Conference, which was scheduled to be held in Singapore from November 9-10, 2022, has been postponed to 2023. Tentative dates are October 1-3, 2023. The conference’s International Advisory Board cited the evolving Covid situation, the indoor mask mandates still in force in Singapore, China’s current battle with Covid, huge increases in airfares due to oil price spikes and several operational issues as the factors behind the decision.

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