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.

May 11, 2020

US Ford factories preparing to restart

Filed under: Auto, Coronavirus/COVID-19, Rubber — Notch @ 9:13 pm

On May 18, Ford Motor Co. will resume most North American vehicle production following the lifting of restrictions by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with parts depots resuming operations on May 1.

The Flat Rock Assembly Plant in southeast Michigan and Oakville Assembly Complex in Canada will remain closed until May 25.

May 5, 2020

Tire production resumes at Toyo plant in Georgia

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Tires — Notch @ 11:05 pm

On May 3, Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. will reopen its White, Georgia tire plant, ramping up gradually on a revised shift schedule.  The plant has been idled since March 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toyo is implementing additional health and safety measures based on CDC guidelines.

Bridgestone Iowa plant confirms 8 employees test positive for COVID-19

Filed under: Coronavirus/COVID-19, Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 10:10 pm

Bridgestone Americas Inc.’s agricultural tire plant in Des Moines confirms 8 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.  The company is addressing the outbreak using protocols established before Bridgestone resumed production on April 13.

Enterprise Crisis Management Team has been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and consulting federal, state and local officials to coordinate risk mitigation and business continuity strategies.

Bridgestone said the plant will remain in production but will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust as necessary.

April 28, 2020

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 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.”

 

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