News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

November 13, 2007

Carbon Black 2007, Perspective in Asia Pacific

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:36 am

I have just returned from Carbon Black 2007, Perspective in Asia Pacific, held in November 6-9, 2007 in Seoul, South Korea. The Asian conference is held every other year, alternating with the Carbon Black World conference, which is held in North America or Europe. According to organizers, the conference attracted more than 200 people from 21 countries. The Perspective in Asia Pacific conference was excellent as always, providing a comprehensive overview of trends in the carbon black industry, including supply and demand, feedstocks, production technology and energy conservation. Notch presented a paper during Session One entitled “Overview of Global Carbon Black Supply & Demand,” which included data on the twelve largest producers, exporters, importers and consumers of carbon black worldwide, as well as capacity developments.

It was great to meet old friends and to make new ones. Much of the discussion, both in the sessions and during breaks, focussed on feedstock costs, only natural considering that WTI is now trading well above $90 per barrel and HS Resid (#6 Fuel Oil) is about $70 per barrel (USGC). Carbon black producers are responding by focusing on improving energy efficiency and yields by installing higher temp air and oil preheaters, adding cogen units, expanding their grade mix to include more specialty products, and trying to implement supply contracts that don’t leave them perpetually chasing oil. On the news front, I learned of several new capacity expansion projects in Asia, including a new producer planning to enter the industry next year. For clients, I will be updating the Expansions data in the Carbon Black World Data Book within the next few weeks to reflect these projects.

The future schedule for the Asian conference is as follows:
2009 — Dubai (sponsored by the Mideast Carbon Black Association)
2011 — Singapore (sponsored by Glencore Ltd.)
2013 — Bangkok (sponsored by Thai carbon black producers)

The next North American carbon black conference will be held October/November 2008, and the location has not yet been chosen. Possibilities are Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Montreal, Vancouver, San Diego, Houston, Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix. I’m hoping for Vancouver or Montreal. The conference is sponsored by Intertech.

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