News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

April 28, 2020

LG Chem announces expansion of Carbon Nanotube Production

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 12:45 pm

On April 27, LG Chem announced that it will expand carbon nanotube (CNT) production at its plant in Yeosu.  LG Chem will be expanding by 1,200 tons, increasing total production capacity to 1,700 tons.

CNT is a new material with superior properties used in batteries, semi-conductors, auto parts and aircraft fuselages.

The expansion is designed to target the rapidly growing global EV and CNT markets and accelerate LG Chem’s product structure advancement strategies.

Partial production resumes at one Apollo plant in India

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 12:43 pm

Apollo Tyres Ltd. has resumed partial production at its factory in Perambra, India after government directives exempted its operations from lockdowns, according to a stock exchange filing.

The tire maker idled production at other Indian facilities in Kalamassery, Limda, Gujarat and Chennaiother amid concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, and will provide updates on the restart of production in these facilities as decisions are made.

Yokohama to restart Mississippi plant

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 12:21 pm

On April 27, Yokohama Corp. of North America will restart production at its commercial tire plant in West Point, Mississippi, after closure on March 28 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yokohama will implement safety procedures based on CDC guidelines and local guidelines.

Nokian Tennessee tire plant to reopen

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 11:54 am

On May 4, Nokian Tyres Inc. plans to restart production at its Dayton plant after a month-long closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  The decision is in line with steps the state has taken to reopen the economy.

The reopening will be a phased process starting April 27.  The company points to its “desire to provide stability for our employees” as a reason for the move, as well as its belief in the importance of tire makers as suppliers to the transportation industry “which has been deemed essential by the state and federal governments.”

Amid global pandemic, IHS sharply lowers 2020 global light vehicle sales forecast

Filed under: Auto, Coronavirus/COVID-19 — Notch @ 11:15 am

IHS Markit, which tracks automotive sales and production trends, sharply lowered its 2020 forecast for global light vehicle sales in response to COVID-19 pandemic, warning that the US will take the biggest hit.

IHS expects global light vehicle sales to fall 22% from prior estimates of more than 12%.  In the US, IHS expects auto sales to fall 26.6% compared with a year earlier.

IHS estimates global light vehicle production to drop 21.2%.

 

Amid COVID-19 outbreak, USTMA adjusts 2020 tire shipment forecast

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, Tires — Notch @ 10:37 am

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has revised its February 2020 U.S. tire shipment projections in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak, projecting 2020 shipments will decrease to 273.6 million units, compared to 332.7 million units in 2019.

Compared to 2019, original equipment and replacement shipments are projected to decrease by 24.3% and 17.2%, respectively.  Original equipment and replacement shipments for light truck and truck tire are also expected to decrease.

April 20, 2020

Webinar to cover Recovered Carbon Black Markets

Filed under: Carbon Black, Recovered Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:34 pm

On April 22, Weibold will present a webinar covering Recovered Carbon Black Markets at 9:00 CET and 16:00 CET. The webinar will be hosted by Martin von Wolfersdorff, one of the foremost global experts in the rCB space. Notch would advise anyone interested in this topic to participate — register at this link.

According to organizers, the webinar is designed for tire pyrolysis operators, tire pyrolysis technology providers, investors, rCB distributors, and rCB refinishing companies. It will cover an introduction to recovered carbon black, explain different market definitions (top-down market, bottom-up market, potential market etc.), explain market segments and market segment requirements, give estimates for major markets and discuss current market developments in carbon black that will have an impact on the markets for recovered carbon black.

April 17, 2020

European tire sales for Q1 show effects of COVID-19

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 9:50 am

On April 16, ETRMA (European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association) released its figures for tire sales for the first quarter of 2020. Comparing the first quarter of 2020 to Q1 2019, there were 13% declines in sales of both passenger car and agricultural tires and a 6% decline in sales of truck tires. The impact is most apparent in the March data, when most of the shut-downs were instituted: comparing March 2020 to March 2019, there was a 26% decline in passenger car tires and 15% declines in both truck and agricultural tires. ETRMA estimated that 89% of Europe’s manufacturing capacity was closed as of April 7.

The drastic decline in tyre sales and replacements is partly due to the extensive measures taken by tyre manufacturers to protect the health and well-being of their employees and comply with government guidelines. This has led to the temporary closure of the European manufacturing facilities of almost all member companies. As of 7 April, ETRMA estimates that in Europe: 89% of manufacturing capacity is closed, 84% of the workforce is affected and 10% of R&D staff is unable to continue their activities. It is unclear when the European tyre industry will be able to resume its production activities and the international supply chain will be up and running again.

Additionally, there has been a substantial drop in demand due to the national lockdown measures across the European Union, which have affected vehicle and tyre purchases, driving behaviour and the number of miles driven. Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary-General of ETRMA states that: “Both the suspension of the operational activities and the sharp drop in demand will have a long-lasting impact on the performance of our industry. This is the biggest challenge our industry has ever faced.”

 

April 16, 2020

Conti restarts some tire and MRG production in Romania

Filed under: Carbon Black, Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires, Uncategorized — Notch @ 10:07 pm

Continental A.G. restarted its tire plant in Timisoara, Romania on April 7, a company spokesperson announced. The plant was idled on March 25. Another plant in the same town producing belt and air conditioner lines was restarted on April 10; the plant had been idled March 30. ContiTech hose plants in Nadab and Carei, Romania remain idled, and most of the company’s administrative and R&D staff continue to work from home.

Scandinavian Enviro Systems announces strategic partnership with Michelin for rCB

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Recovered Carbon Black, Tires — Notch @ 9:38 pm

Scandinavian Enviro Systems (Gothenburg, Sweden) has announced a new long-term strategic partnership with Michelin under which Michelin will acquire a 20% stake in Enviro, valued at SEK 32.5 million (US$3.2 million). The agreement also includes a project to build a tire recycling facility based on Enviro’s pyrolysis technology, as well as a joint supply agreement for recovered carbon black between the two companies. The location of the plant will be confirmed at a later date. The stock placement is expected to be completed by April 29, 2020, while the final agreement on the strategic partnership is expected to be signed by mid-2020. The current letter of intent contains no provisions that prevent Enviro from collaborating with other tire manufacturers or tire suppliers after July 31, 2020, according to Enviro’s press release.

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