News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 6, 2008

Notch Consulting Publishes “World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2008”

Notch Consulting is proud to announce the publication of a new market research report, World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2008. This fully updated and expanded report covers the $2 billion global market for precipitated silica and sodium aluminum silicates, which are high performance fillers and additives used in fuel efficient tires, rubber goods, toothpaste, food/feed, paper, and a range of other applications.

Coverage includes all regions and 18 major countries. The report addresses global and regional supply and demand issues, including current capacity and expansion activity, pricing, recent product developments, regulatory considerations, and industry restructuring. Data are provided in metric tons for all years 2002 through 2007, with forecasts provided for 2008–2010, 2015, and 2025. The report provides production capacity by company and plant for all years 2005 through 2010, including planned expansions, as well as highly dispersible silica (HDS) capacity by company and plant. Market share (in US$) is provided by company for major markets and regions (North America, European Union, Asia). World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2008 includes both the main report in either electronic PDF or hard copy format, as well as a separate Excel spreadsheet containing all of the report’s statistical data. Profiles are provided for leading suppliers.

Here is an overview of the report and its complete table of contents (PDF).

Ordering information is here.
For more information, write to

Aditya Birla Nuvo Reports Quarterly Results

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 2:53 pm

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India — On Monday, August 4, 2008, Aditya Birla Nuvo reported its results for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. The company‚Äôs standalone revenues grew by 38% to Rs. 1,078.9 crores, up from Rs. 780.1 crores for the same quarter in 2007. Higher volumes in the Carbon Black and the Fertilisers businesses contributed significantly to the revenues and earnings. Standalone net profit is up by 23% at Rs. 41.6 crores from Rs. 33.7 crores.

Standalone revenue for the Carbon Black business totaled Rs. 297.66 crores for the quarter ended June 30, 2008, up from Rs. 161.23 crores for the same quarter of 2007. PBIT (profit before interest & tax) for the Carbon Black business totaled Rs. 41.45 crores for the most recent quarter, up from Rs. 28.74 crores from a year ago.

Aditya Birla Nuvo’s consolidated revenues grew by 48% from Rs. 2,184.1 crores to Rs. 3,228.3 crores. Revenues from its subsidiaries and joint ventures, where the company has made substantial investments in the past, grew by 53% to Rs. 2,149.4 crores from Rs. 1,404 crores.

Here is the press release on the results.
Here are unaudited financial results for the quarter.

RMA Forecasts 4% Drop in US Tire Shipments in 2008

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 11:56 am

U.S. tire shipments are projected to decline by nearly 4 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Total shipments will fall below 300 million units, and OE passenger tire shipments will fall to their lowest levels since 1991. The full press release is here.

The projected drop in shipments reflects the worsening domestic economic pressures predicted for both the consumer and commercial sectors, with original equipment shipments falling by double-digit percentages. The combined 2008 original equipment and replacement tire shipments for light vehicle and truck categories are expected to fall by more than 12 million units to about 298 million total shipments, compared to 310 million units in 2007.

Replacement passenger tire shipments are forecast to fall nearly 1 percent to about 202 million units, as a slowing economy and high energy prices are affecting consumer driving habits. Demand in 2009 likely will be unchanged because of continuing difficult economic conditions.

Replacement light truck tire shipments are forecast to fall by approximately 2.4 million units, or nearly 7 percent, to about 32 million units in 2008. Although the number of vehicles for this market remains steady and largely represented by small commercial vehicles, declining economic conditions and fewer miles driven will contribute to a further projected 5 percent decline in replacement LT tire shipments in 2009.

Shipments of replacement medium, wide-base and heavy truck tires are projected to decline to approximately 16 million units in 2008, a decrease of nearly 600,000 units or 3.5 percent over 2007. Again, the decrease reflects a further weakening of the economy and protracted recovery as fewer goods are being transported.

OE passenger tire shipments are projected to decrease by more than 11 percent to approximately 41 million units in 2008 as a result of continued decreases in domestic vehicle production. This will mark the lowest level of OE shipments since 1991 when OE shipments stood at 41.8 million units. A further decrease of approximately 3 percent is expected for 2009 owing to a protracted economic recovery and continued market share gains for light vehicle imports.

OE light truck tire shipments are forecast to decline more than 35 percent to 2.8 million units in 2007, down from 4.4 million units in 2007. This sharp drop is attributable to the fundamental shift in consumer demand for vehicles with higher fuel economy, a shift in vehicle fitments to P-metric passenger tires, and market share increases by import vehicle manufacturers. For 2009, a modest 200,000 unit increase is anticipated owing to resumption of economic growth in the commercial sectors that utilize light truck vehicles.

Finally, original equipment medium, wide-base, and heavy truck tire shipments are projected to decline by approximately 12 percent to nearly 4.1 million units in 2008. This decrease is attributed to the larger than anticipated economic slowdown in the commercial sector. However a considerable rebound of more than 24 percent is forecasted for 2009 as economic activity improves and truck sales increase. Anticipation of changes in EPA regulations for 2010 will inspire a pull-forward effect of truck sales into 2009.

Huber Raises Silica Prices

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 11:05 am

On August 1, 2008, Huber Engineered Materials announced a global price increase for its Dental, Paper, and Specialty Silica and Silicate grades, citing an unprecedented escalation in energy, raw material and transportation costs. The increase will be implemented between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1, 2008, or as contracts allow. Prices will increase an average of up to 15 percent, depending on the product grade and form.

Here is the press release.

Performance Fibers Plans Expansion in China

Filed under: Tire Cord — Notch @ 10:51 am

On August 5, 2008, Performance Fibers (Richmond, VA) announced plans to again increase capacity for HMLS (high modulus, low shrinkage) polyester fiber and fabric at its factory in Kaiping, China to meet demand from the tire industry.

The latest expansion will increase combined production of dimensionally stable polyester fiber and fabric production by 50 percent. The new project is part of a multi-phase expansion plan over the past four years to expand capacity for DSP yarn and fabric.

The expansion will include the addition of new advanced spinning machines to produce HMLS fiber, continuing a plan that added the infrastructure for this new equipment in 2006. The first part of this expansion is expected to come online in November 2008, with the following stage to begin production in early 2009. The company also will add direct cablers and air jet looms to increase fabric capacity. Construction on a second level of its existing facility to house the new, state-of-the-art equipment will begin this quarter, with production to begin next year.

Here is the press release.

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