News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

June 30, 2020

Cabot completes placement of air emission control equipment at Franklin

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:00 am

On June 26, Cabot Corporation announced that, as of June 2020, all major emission control equipment has been installed at its carbon black plant in Franklin, Louisiana. The project is part of an industry-wide agreement with the EPA’s national enforcement initiative to control air emissions from carbon black plants in the US. With this milestone, Cabot said that the project was 90% completed and on track to be completed in early 2021, well ahead of the industry deadline of April 2021. Cabot said that the project will reduce the plant’s NOx emissions by 90% through selective catalytic control and reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 95% through wet gas scrubbing. This is equivalent to 900 tons per year of NOx and 6,500 tons per year of sulfur dioxide. A separate project at Cabot’s plant in Pampa, Texas was completed in 2017 and has reduced NOx emissions by 67%, equivalent to nearly 1,500 tons of emissions in three years, according to Cabot.

June 10, 2020

ITEC 2020 shifts to virtual event

Filed under: Conferences, Coronavirus/COVID-19 — Notch @ 9:42 pm

The next International Tire Exhibition and Conference, which is scheduled for September 8-18, 2020, will transition to a virtual event this year. The biennial conference is sponsored by Rubber & Plastics News and typically held in Akron, Ohio. The decision was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dates of conference remain unchanged, with a livestream covering the conference sessions, including keynote speakers, individual presentations, and panel sessions.

June 8, 2020

Goodyear forecasts 50% drop in tire volumes in Q2

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 12:42 am

In a 424B filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission dated May 13, 2020, Goodyear Tire & Rubber provided an overview of its actions in response to COVID-19 and a view of the tire industry’s performance in 2020.

We currently believe that our largest volume declines will occur in the second quarter of 2020, with volumes down approximately 50% compared to the second quarter of 2019. Overhead absorption will also continue to be adversely affected by reduced plant production during the second quarter of 2020. We are currently planning for our production to be down almost 25 million units versus the second quarter of 2019 in order to reflect expected demand and to reduce inventory.

In addition, our other tire-related businesses are also being significantly affected by the weakening economic environment. Traffic and volume at our retail locations is low and the sharp drop in business and leisure travel is adversely impacting our aviation business. Our chemicals business is also feeling the effects of the decline in tire production. In total, the year-over-year earnings decline in our other tire-related businesses is expected to be about $150 million during the second quarter of 2020.

For the full year of 2020, we now expect our raw material costs will be a benefit of $50 million to $100 million compared to 2019, excluding transactional foreign currency and raw material cost saving measures. Natural and synthetic rubber prices and other commodity prices historically have been volatile, and this estimate could change significantly based on fluctuations in the cost of these and other key raw materials. We are continuing to focus on price and product mix, to substitute lower cost materials where possible, to work to identify additional substitution opportunities, to reduce the amount of material required in each tire, and to pursue alternative raw materials.

June 3, 2020

JK Tyre launches US operations

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:42 pm

JK Tyre, one of India’s leading tire producers, recently announced the creation of a new entity, Western Tires Inc. in Houston, Texas, which will act as the company’s marketing arm in the United States. JK Tyre has been exporting tires to the United States for more than 20 years, and the new company represents an expansion of those efforts. JK Tyre imports tires into the US from its factories in both India and Mexico.

Cooper restarts Mexico plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 9:33 pm

Tire Business reports (subscription required) that Cooper Tire & Rubber is restarting production at its tire plant in El Salto, Mexico. Cooper first idled the plant on March 21 due to COVID-19 concerns. The plant was restarted on April 13th but idled again on April 28 under orders from the Mexican government, which deemed the plant to be non-essential. Cooper has implemented new health and safety procedures at the plant, and production was scheduled to resume on a limited basis on June 1.

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