News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

September 23, 2020

Tire Tech Expo delayed until June 2021

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, Coronavirus/COVID-19, General — Notch @ 8:32 pm

Tire Technology Expo, originally scheduled to be held at the Deutsche Messe, Hannover in March 2021, has been rescheduled to June 8-10, 2021, as a result of the still fluid Covid-19 situation across Europe. In addition to the in-person Expo coming in June, the group is planning several Virtual Conferences and Virtual Technology Showcases, which will be announced shortly. 

Last week, the group successfully held the Testing Expo China Automotive show in Shanghai, which attracted 230 exhibitor stands and 8,000 visitors over three days.

 

 

September 20, 2020

International Tar Association to hold free virtual conference this week

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, General — Notch @ 10:07 pm

The International Tar Association (ITA) will hold a 2020 Virtual Conference on Tuesday, September 22nd at 7:45 am EST – 11:15 am EST. There is no registration fee to attend the conference, which will consist of six presentations from industry experts providing updates on the coal tar, coal tar distillation, and related industries. The conference will include PDF copies of each paper and a chat function for questions. Register here.

September 18, 2020

Bridgestone closing French tire plant in 2021

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 1:44 pm

On September 16, Bridgestone Corporation announced plans to cease production at its 60-year-old passenger tire plant in Bethune, France in 2021. The company said the decision came in response to the challenging long-term outlook for the European passenger tire market, and that the closure represents the only viable path to safeguard the competitiveness of Bridgestone’s operations in Europe. All manufacturing operations at the site would cease, affecting 863 workers.

The current industry context for passenger tyres is threatening Bridgestone’s competitiveness in the European market. For the last several years, the market for passenger tyres has been facing strong headwinds – even without taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The passenger tyre market has seen its volumes stabilize over the last few years (average annual growth < 1%) while competition from low-cost Asian brands continues to increase (market share of 6% in 2000 increased to 25% in 2018) leading to general production overcapacity. This has resulted in pressure on pricing and margins, as well as overcapacity in the Low Rim Diameter segment, given a declining demand in LRD. And within Bridgestone’s overall European footprint, the Bethune plant is the least well positioned and least competitive.

Over the last years, Bridgestone has taken several measures, including attempts to increase the competitiveness of the Bethune plant. These have proven to be insufficient and Bridgestone has been losing money on tyres produced in Bethune for several years. Considering the current market dynamics, no improvement in the situation is foreseeable.

The decision drew immediate protest from the union and workers, who protested outside the plant the day following the announcement.

September 15, 2020

Tokai Carbon CB raising carbon black prices in the US

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:37 am

Effective October 1, or as customer contracts allow, Tokai Carbon CB Ltd. will increase prices for all carbon black products produced in the United States by $40 to $50/metric ton (1.8 to 2.27 cents/pound). The EPA charge of $88.00/ton (4 cents/pound) will remain in effect. The company said that the price change will support the continued increasing cost of operations, labor, and environmental compliance.

Here is the press release.

 

 

 

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