News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

May 12, 2020

Cabot reports Q2 FY 2020 results

Filed under: Carbon Black, Coronavirus/COVID-19, Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:04 pm

On Monday, Cabot Corporation reported results for its Q2 FY2020. Net sales declined to $710 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 from $844 million in the same quarter of FY2019, a drop of 16%. In Reinforcement Materials, volumes decreased 14% year-over-year as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted demand. The impact was most pronounced in Asia but impacted both Americas and EMEA demand at the end of the quarter. Offsetting the lower volumes were higher margins due to pricing and mix benefits in both the tire and industrial product lines. Net sales in the Reinforcement Materials business totaled $355 million for 2Q FY2020, down 20% from $445 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Changes in Reinforcement Materials volumes (Q2 2020 YOY change):

  • Global: -14%
  • Asia: -20%
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa: -13%
  • Americas: -8%

Performance Chemicals saw net sales of $245 million in Q2 FY2020, down 3.5% from $254 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Cabot held its earnings conference call on the results earlier today.

Tokai Carbon raises carbon black prices and changes price index for Japan

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:19 am

On April 13, Tokai Carbon Co. announced a price increase for carbon black in Japan of 6.0JPY/kg (US5.6 cents/kg) effective May 1, 2020. In addition, going forward carbon black prices will be revised using the crude oil index, as the index used in previous price revisions can no longer be used due to the impact of IMO regulations on bunker fuel oil sulfur content.

May 7, 2020

Orion announces Q1 results, sales down 12.7% YOY

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 9:17 pm

On Thursday, Orion Engineered Carbons released their results for Q1 2020, reporting a 12.7% drop in sales and a 10.5% decline in volumes relative to Q1 2019. Declines were sharpest in Rubber Carbon Blacks, which showed a 14.6% decline in sales and an 11.1% decline in volumes. Specialty Carbon Black saw a decline of 9% in sales and 8.8% in volumes during the quarter.¬†Specialty black demand was down mainly due to “weakening demand in the North America and Western Europe regions predominantly in the automotive and pipe markets.” Rubber black demand was down due to a “sharp decline in sales volumes beginning in mid-March as tire and auto manufacturing plants closed due to COVID-19.” Orion also attributed lower Rubber Black volumes to a “strategy as part of 2019 contract negotiations to emphasize raising price closer to reinvestment levels over volume.”

A few key takeaways from the earnings announcement:

  • OEC reported that all of its plants continued to operate during the quarter but the company implemented a flexible production schedule whereby reactors are run for a few weeks to restock inventories, then shut down.
  • OEC plants were at about mid-40s percent utilization in April.
  • More than 75 percent of tire plants served by OEC were fully or partially idled in April.
  • OEC expects tire manufacturing plant restarts to occur slowly.
  • In contrast to the tire market, only a few specialty customers were idled.

OEC will hold its earnings call on Friday, May 8 at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

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.

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 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.

April 13, 2020

Recovered Carbon Black Congress rescheduled for September

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, Recovered Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 10:20 pm

The Recovered Carbon Black Congress 2020 will be held September 8-10, 2020 at the Pullman Stuttgart Fontana Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany. The conference was originally scheduled to be held May 12-14 in Berlin but was rescheduled due to COVID-19.

April 1, 2020

SUSN acquired by Cabot Corporation

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:41 pm

Cabot Corporation has completed the acquisition of Shenzhen Sanshun Nano New Materials Co., Ltd (SUSN) for integration into Cabot’s Performance Chemicals Segment.¬† SUSN, a leading carbon nanotube producer, was acquired by Cabot for approximately $115 million, strengthening their position in the high-growth batteries market in China, as well as their global leadership in carbon additives.

March 30, 2020

Prinx Chengshan Tire inaugurates Thai tire plant

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 9:03 pm

Amid all the plant closures, some good news. Tire Business reports that Prinx Chengshan Tire has inaugurated production of truck tires at its new $300M plant in Chonburi, Thailand. The plant was completed one year after breaking ground and a few months ahead of schedule. Workers at the plant began production on March 25. Capacity is 800,000 unit/year at full capacity. The company also plans to add 4M units/year of capacity for PC/LT tires.

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