News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

March 16, 2015

Notch publishes report on global market for insoluble sulfur

Filed under: insoluble sulfur — Notch @ 6:15 am

Notch Consulting is pleased to announce the publication of World Markets for Insoluble Sulfur 2015, an update of a report covering the global outlook for insoluble sulfur (IS), a non-blooming vulcanizing agent used in rubber components requiring a high degree of stickiness or tack, particularly radial tires, belting, and hoses. This 51-page report includes 11 tables detailing insoluble sulfur demand by region, market, and grade, as well as pricing, production capacity, expansion projects, and annual sales by company. The report is presented in PDF format and includes a separate Excel spreadsheet providing extensive supplemental data, including details on tire plant expansions worldwide. The report provides annual insoluble sulfur demand for all years from 2005 through 2014, as well as forecasts for all years from 2015 to 2020. Volume demand is broken out by major market (passenger tires, truck tires, all other tires, and non-tire rubber goods), by region (North America, European Union, China, Other Asia/Pacific, and Other Regions), and by grade (standard, high thermal stability, and high dispersability). Contact Notch Consulting at info @ notchconsulting.com for more information or to order.

April 14, 2014

Tiremakers continue to invest in the United States

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber Chemicals, Tire Cord, Tires — Notch @ 6:05 am

Tire Business has an overview of the current slate of tire plant expansions underway or planned for the United States. This includes major projects by Bridgestone, Continental, Hankook, Michelin, Toyo, and Yokohama. The article confirms industry rumors that Korean tiremaker Kumho Tire USA Inc. plans to restart a long-stalled project to build a new tire plant in Georgia. Notch Consulting is tracking $4.5 billion in new investment in tire capacity in the United States from 2012 through 2020.

February 24, 2014

Notch updates report on insoluble sulfur

Filed under: insoluble sulfur — Notch @ 6:00 am

Notch Consulting is pleased to announce the publication of World Markets for Insoluble Sulfur, a new report covering the global outlook for insoluble sulfur (IS), a non-blooming vulcanizing agent used in rubber components requiring a high degree of stickiness or tack, particularly radial tires, belting, and hoses. This report was last published in June 2009 but will be updated annually from now on. This 47-page report includes 10 tables detailing IS demand by region, market, and grade, as well as pricing, production capacity, expansion projects, and annual sales by company. The report is presented in PDF format and includes a separate Excel spreadsheet providing extensive supplemental data, including details on tire plant expansions worldwide. The report provides annual IS demand for all years from 2005 through 2012, as well as forecasts for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2020. Volume demand is provided in tonnes and is broken out by major market (passenger tires, truck tires, all other tires, and non-tire rubber goods). Demand is also provided by region for major grades: standard, HS (high thermal stability), and HD (high dispersability).

Contact Notch Consulting at info AT notchconsulting.com for details or to order the report.

September 22, 2013

Bridgestone considering new tire plant in Turkey

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 11:53 pm

On September 19, Bridgestone Corporation announced that Brisa Bridgestone Sabancı Lastik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (Brisa) is evaluating potential sites for a possible new passenger car radial tire plant in Turkey. Brisa already operates a tire plant in İzmit that produces passenger car radial tires, truck and bus radial tires. Brisa was established in 1988 as a joint venture with Sabancı Holding, and the plant started the plant began production in 1990. The company did not provide details about plant size or a completion schedule.

June 14, 2013

Michelin closing two tire plants in Colombia

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 2:25 pm

Michelin announced this week that it was shutting down its Colombian subsidiary Icollantas. The decision will result in the closure of two plants: the Chusaca plant produces truck tires, while the plant in Cali produces passenger car tires. The decision will affect about 460 workers. The shut-downs are expected to be completed over summer 2013.

Michelin said in a press release:

In response to more than a decade of substantial annual losses in Colombia, which repeated investments have failed to stem, Michelin has decided to discontinue the manufacturing operations of its local subsidiary Icollantas. Due to its insufficient size and other local economic factors, the unit has never managed to be competitive.

The decision leaves Colombian with just one tire plant: Goodyear’s plant in Cali that produces passenger car, truck, ag, and OTR tires.

October 3, 2012

Bridgestone moving forward with big US expansions

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 12:44 am

Rubber News (subscription required) reports that Bridgestone Americas is progressing steadily on two expansion projects in South Carolina that entail more than $1.2 billion in investments. The projects involves an expansion of an existing PC/LT tire plant in Aiken County and the construction of a new OTR radial tire plant at a site about four miles away.

When its expansion is completed, the passenger and light truck tire plant will have a capacity of 37,750 tires per day. The two-phase project will cost nearly $350 million and is scheduled for completion in April 2015, according to Plant Manager John Stewart.

The OTR tire plant will cost about $900 million, and the facility will be the company’s first outside of Japan to use its radial tire technology for giant tires, said Norvel Smith, the factory’s general manager. Bridgestone expects to produce the first tire at the new plant in the first quarter of 2014, and the plant will reach full production in 2020, when it will have capacity to process 130 metric tons of rubber daily, producing tires from 49 to 63 inches in diameter.

May 29, 2012

Nokian will cut back tire production in Finland as its new Russian plant begins production

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tire Cord, Tires — Notch @ 11:06 pm

Nokian is scheduled to begin production at its new factory in Vsevolozhsk, Russia in June 2012. The factory is built alonside an existing plant. Two new production lines are scheduled to begin this year, with two more to begin production in 2013 and 2014. At that time, the plant’s annual capacity will be six million tires and the two Russian factories will have a combined annual capacity of approximately 17 million tires.

As production increases in Russia, Nokian is reducing work at its home factories. Starting in July, production at the tiremaker’s plant in Nokia will be cut back to a five day per week schedule. According to the company, the plant will continue to produce primarily for the Nordic countries. The modified production plan will lead to a cut in outsourced labour and the elimination of around 120 jobs. Nokian says a 30 million euro modernisation plan being carried out in the Nokia factory will enable it to operate with a lower workforce.

May 21, 2012

Oriental Carbon & Chemicals adds insoluble sulfur capacity in India

Filed under: insoluble sulfur — Notch @ 12:03 am

On May 15, Oriental Carbon & Chemicals Ltd. of Kolkata, India commissioned the second 5,500 mtpa phase of its 11,000 mtpa expansion project for insoluble sulfur at its facility in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Mundra, Gujarat.

The company made the announcement with a brief statement to the BSE.

December 6, 2011

RMA lowers estimate for US tire shipments

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, insoluble sulfur, Silica, Tire Cord, Tires — Notch @ 2:53 pm

2011 TIRE SHIPMENTS TO GROW NEARLY ONE PERCENT

Two percent increase anticipated for 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2011 – The Rubber Manufacturers Association lowered its 2011tire shipment forecast to 287 million total units, which represents a nearly one percent increase or approximately two million units more than 2010. This is a result of downward revisions in year-end economic growth in the U.S. economy.

For 2012, the forecast remains guardedly optimistic as U.S. economic growth is anticipated to remain slow. As such, overall tire shipments are forecasted to increase by more than two percent reaching a total of over 290 million total units. Persistently high fuel costs, a decrease in miles driven by consumers plus moderating growth in the commercial replacement tire sector have led to a restrained outlook.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee 2011 forecast for key categories include:

Original Equipment (OE) Passenger Tires: OE tire shipments were revised slightly lower to approximately 35 million units, a 5.4 percent increase over 2010, as a result of decreased vehicle production related to supply chain disruptions due to the natural disasters in both Japan and Thailand. The forecast for 2012 is for an approximate 13 percent increase, to nearly 40 million OE units, as available credit and attractive vehicle prices are expected to drive vehicle sales.

Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: This category is forecasted to experience a nearly 15 percent increase in 2011 to approximately 4.2 million units due to the shift to larger vehicles as a result of more fuel efficient pickups and improved economic conditions in commercial sectors that utilize light trucks. However, a 7 percent decrease, or approximately 300,000 units for a total of 3.9 million units, is forecasted for 2012. This is a consequence of a trend towards light trucks built on car-based platforms instead of truck-based platforms owing to increased vehicle fuel mileage standards and consumer demand.

Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: The forecast for commercial OE tire shipments was revised upward for 2011 to approximately 54 percent, reaching nearly five million total units. This underscores the pent up demand for commercial trucks and trailers concurrent with a predicted nearly four percent increase in the Industrial Production Index. For 2012, the forecast is for an additional nearly 10 percent increase as pent up demand offsets a slowing economy.

Replacement Passenger Tire: The forecast for this category was revised to show a decrease of approximately two percent for 2011 as vehicle miles driven have declined, energy costs remain high, and continued economic uncertainty weighs on the consumer. The decrease represents a drop of approximately four million units for 2011 with total passenger replacement units reaching approximately 196 million units. For 2012, less than one percent growth is forecasted – representing an approximate one million unit increase – as economic growth continues to remain sluggish and vehicle miles driven ticks up slightly.

Replacement Light Truck Tire: This category, represented by small commercial vehicle market – mainly “class 3” trucks, was revised downward to an approximate two percent increase in 2011 – a growth of approximately 700,000 units or nearly 29 million total units. The downward revision was primarily attributed to the slower than expected recovery in the light truck category as well as change in light truck platforms to car platforms, which began in 2008. For 2012, no further increase is anticipated as the economy is expected to remain weak.

Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: The forecast for this market will remain strong for 2011 as commercial trucking has grown concurrent with the increase in the Industrial Production Index. As such, the market is anticipated to increase by approximately 1.5 million units in 2011 to nearly 17 million units. For 2012, an additional 800,000 units are anticipated as the IPI is forecasted to continue to grow by over two percent.

July 21, 2011

Bridgestone to invest $135 million in the US

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations will invest $135 million to expand capacity at its passenger and light truck tire plant in Aiken County, South Carolina by up to 4,750 units per day. Construction is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2013 and production is expected to begin in 2Q 2013.

The project will increase plant capacity by an additional 4,750 units per day to about 29,750 units per day. Bridgestone Americas said it will expand the facility by 266,000 square feet in the main plant and mixing areas.

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