News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

October 12, 2018

Cooper Tire to consider ceasing light vehicle tire production at England site

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 9:37 am

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe Limited, a subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., has announced that it will enter a ten month consultation period to explore ceasing light vehicle tire production at its Melksham site in Wiltshire, England.

According to Jaap van Wessum, General Manager, Cooper Tire Europe,
“It is essential for Cooper to be globally competitive in the tire industry. To deliver on our strategic growth objectives, we must produce quality light vehicle tires in high volumes and at a competitive cost. Unfortunately, the Melksham site is an older, smaller facility that does not offer economies of scale and it is the highest cost facility in the global Cooper network. Due to facility age and location in the center of town, it is our current view, subject to consultation, that it is not economically feasible to modernize or expand there for light vehicle tire production.”

Read the full press release here.

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October 9, 2018

SRI doubles plant expansion in Brazil; launches plant in South Africa

Filed under: Tires — Tags: , — Notch @ 11:21 am

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is doubling the scale of an ongoing expansion project at its tire plant in Fazenda Rio Grande, Brazil, to 1,000 truck tires a day to meet “steadily growing” demand for truck/bus tires in the country.

Meanwhile, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (PTY) LTD (SRSA), manufacturer of Dunlop, Sumitomo, and Falken tire brands, officially launched its new, state-of-the-art truck and bus radial (TBR) factory in Ladysmith, Kwazulu-Natal on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), has tire manufacturing plants in Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey, USA, and South Africa.

Read the Brazil press release here.

Read the South Africa press release here.

China’s JGST to build tire plant in Thailand

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 10:19 am

Jiangsu General Science Technology Co. Ltd., reacting to increasing international trade barriers, plans to build a passenger and truck/bus tire plant in Thailand’s Rayong Industrial Zone and is committing up to $300 million for the project. JGST first proposed building an overseas plant in April, in Cambodia, but has decided to change its location.

The plant is designed with capacities of 6 million passenger tires and 1 million truck/bus tires annually, the company said. Construction is slated to take 15 months, and the plant is expected to generate $36 million annual net profit on $320 million in revenue when on full stream upon the third year of its operation.

Among tire makers already manufacturing in Thailand are Bridgestone Corp., Michelin, Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. and Qingdao Linglong Tire Co. Ltd., JGST said.

Sourced article found here.

Synthetic rubber prices likely to remain volatile

Filed under: Rubber, Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 10:04 am

Prices for synthetic rubber and petrochemical feedstocks have been “incredibly volatile” and are likely to remain so for a while, according to Bill Hyde, executive director-olefins and elastomers at IHS Markit, 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,” he said.

Meanwhile, natural rubber pricing is largely to remain soft because of oversupply and the need for small farmers to keep on earning a living, according to Hyde.

Spokespersons for various industry sectors generally agreed with Hyde, especially in his assertion that ethylene is the main driver of pricing in the petrochemical and SR world.

“Ethylene is the center of the petrochemical universe,” he said. “It has a lot of co-products, most importantly butadiene. Ninety percent of all the butadiene produced in the world is a co-product of ethylene.”

Read more here.

October 1, 2018

Cabot buys NSCC Carbon (Jiangsu) carbon black plant in China

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:06 am

Cabot Corporation announced today that it has acquired NSCC Carbon (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. from Nippon Steel Carbon Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Nippon Steel Chemical & Material Co., Ltd. The carbon black manufacturing facility in Pizhou, Jiangsu Province, China, was originally commissioned in 2015. Cabot has been actively exploring and implementing opportunities to increase capacity in its global carbon black network through plant expansions, operational improvements and debottlenecking projects. The 50,000 metric ton plant will support Cabot’s specialty carbons product line within the Performance Chemicals segment. The plant is scheduled to be temporarily mothballed to conduct maintenance and technology upgrades. The upgrades to manufacturing and environmental equipment will enable the site to be more flexible to manufacture different carbon black products and meet ever-stricter environmental standards. The purchase price, which is payable upon satisfaction of certain conditions, and the equipment and technology upgrades are expected to result in spending of approximately $50 million over the next two years.

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