News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 28, 2019

Orion raising carbon black prices in North America

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:28 pm

On July 22, Orion Engineered Carbons announced a price increase for North American carbon black prices, including both rubber blacks and specialty blacks.

Text of the press release follows:

Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. (NYSE: OEC) (the “ Company ” or “ Orion ”), a worldwide supplier of specialty and high-performance Carbon Black, today announced that effective September 1, 2019 or as contracts allow, Orion Engineered Carbons will increase sales prices by $0.08/pound for Rubber grade Carbon Black and $0.07/pound for Specialty grade Carbon Black for all Carbon Black produced and sold in North America to recover the rapidly rising feedstock costs as well as to ensure continued reliable supply.

On all Rubber grade Carbon Black, Orion will increase current base prices by $0.04/pound. This is necessary to reliably secure increased demand while maintaining quality and sustainable supply.

Carbon Black Oil (CBO) is the primary raw material/feedstock used for the production of furnace grade Carbon Black in the U.S. Costs for CBO vary based on the quality and sulfur content. Recently, demand for certain qualities of CBO has increased dramatically. This is due to IMO2020 regulations and by U.S. EPA mandates. Consequently, on all Rubber grade Carbon Black and on select Standard Specialty grade Carbon Black, Orion will implement a CBO surcharge to offset the rapidly rising difference between the cost of CBO and the reference feedstock differential (High Sulfur Fuel Oil). The floor CBO surcharge shall be $0.04/pound and will be adjusted quarterly, except where significant intra-quarter swings require quicker reaction.

For Low Sulfur Specialty grade Carbon Black, we will add a CBO surcharge to offset the differential versus the reference feedstock (1% Low Sulfur Fuel Oil). This surcharge is currently $0.07/pound and will be adjusted quarterly, except where significant intra-quarter swings require quicker reaction.

For the U.S., Orion is also updating certain charges for non-standard services to better reflect actual current costs. The updated list is available on Orion’s website.

Birla Carbon changes feedstock index for North American carbon black pricing

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:04 pm

On July 26, Birla Carbon announced that effective August 1 the company will change the pricing mechanism for all North America contract price formulas. The long-used index up to this date, U.S. Gulf Coast High Sulfur Fuel Oil, will change to U.S. Gulf Coast 0.5% Sulfur Fuel Oil.

In a press release announcing the change, Birla Carbon said:

Feedstock to make carbon black is sourced from markets driven by marine fuel.  This market is undergoing fundamental changes driven by regulations widely known as MARPOL 2020 or IMO 2020, which establishes the maximum allowable sulfur content in marine fuel at 0.5%.  While this regulation is effective January 1, 2020, the supply chain is adjusting now.

Naturally, these changes have impacted carbon black feedstock markets.  The high sulfur index historically used in carbon black price formulas no longer reflects the markets in which feedstock is procured.  Therefore, this change is necessary to ensure a sustainable supply of carbon black.

Carbon black price formula changes in other parts of the world will be communicated separately, consistent with the timing and manner in which those markets are impacted.

 

July 14, 2019

Tokai Carbon CB raising carbon black prices in US

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:51 pm

On July 11, Tokai Carbon CB (TCCB), the largest carbon black producer in the United States, announced that, effective August 1, 2019, or as contracts allow, the company will increase the price of carbon black products by $0.06 per pound. In addition, the EPA Consent Decree Surcharge will also increase from $0.03 to $0.04 per pound. According to the company, these price increases will provide the needed capital for reinvestment in operations and to complete mandated environmental compliance requirements.

Effective January 1, 2020, TCCB is also changing many of the Standard Packaging and Premium Charges. These charges are shown here: tokaicarboncb.com/pricing-and-terms. The website shows both the current and new charges until the new prices go into effect. Any new agreements concluded in 2019 will use the above pricing structure as well as TCCB’s actual corporate monthly average laid-in CBO cost as the feedstock reference price.

Here is the press release.

July 11, 2019

Black Bear named Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:35 am

Recovered carbon black producer Black Bear has been selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s ‘Technology Pioneers’ alongside 55 other innovators. Black Bear develops technology to recover valuable materials from waste tires.

Each year the World Economic Forum names early to growth-stage companies from around the world as Technology Pioneers. This year, companies from a diverse set of industries have been selected, including developers of AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain and biotechnology.

“We’re excited to welcome Black Bear to this year’s innovative class of technology pioneers. Black Bear and its fellow pioneers are leaders in using novel technologies to transform their industries. We see great potential for these next-generation companies to shape solutions to global challenges and improve society for years to come,” said Fulvia Montresor, head of Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum.

Black Bear’s CEO, Martijn Lopes Cardozo, commented, “It’s an absolute honor to be acknowledged as a pioneer by the World Economic Forum. It is a confirmation that our technology is unique and that it carries the potential to have a global impact on both environmental and societal levels. We’ve tackled the waste tire problem by following principles of the circular economy: we identified a waste stream and figured out how to recover these valuable materials as sustainably as possible. We believe that a worldwide transition to a circular economy is essential in solving the climate crisis. This makes it extra rewarding that we’ve been named a tech pioneer and we are looking forward to contributing to the Forum dialogues.”

Read the full press release here.

Omnova sold to Synthomer in $455 million deal

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 11:16 am

Synthomer will buy specialty chemical company Omnova Solutions Inc. in a deal worth about $455 million.

Synthomer will pay $10.15 a share in an all-cash transaction for Omnova, according to a news release. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year or in early 2020, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

“The offer price represents a premium of 52 percent over Omnova’s three-month weighted average share price of $6.67,” Omnova Chief Executive Officer Anne Noonan said in the release. “The transaction has been approved unanimously by the Omnova and Synthomer boards of directors. We are pleased that Synthomer recognizes the hard work of our employees in executing our multi-year transformation into a leading global specialty solutions provider.

“Omnova complements Synthomer culturally, geographically and by market, while Synthomer’s financial position provides for a very strong combined company that will be well positioned to accelerate growth. This transaction presents increased opportunities for the business and its employees to leverage the combined scale, grow more quickly and profitably, and enhance product innovation in ways that will benefit customers and employees.”

Read the full press release here.

July 8, 2019

Cabot announces carbon black price increase for North America

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 2:32 pm

On June 28, Cabot Corporation announced a price increase of $0.07 per pound for all carbon black shipments made in North America on or after August 1, 2019, or as customer contracts allow. In the press release, Cabot said:

This price increase is necessary to assure customers of continued supply reliability at a time of increasing demand from tire production in the region. Additionally, Cabot continues to make substantial investments and incur significant new costs to reduce air emissions and enhance the sustainability of its operations in the region. Cabot believes these actions will further augment its long-term value proposition to customers based on quality, reliability, and sustainability.

In the press release, Cabot also announced an update to the standard commercial policies for its Reinforcement Materials segment in North America, including changes to standard packaging, transportation, and warehousing premiums. These policies can be found in this PDF from the company.

June 27, 2019

IRSG invites papers for research award

Filed under: Rubber — Notch @ 8:49 pm

IRSGforResearch, an initiative by International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) sponsored by R1 International, has called for papers for the award for best rubber-related economic research. This award aims to promote high-quality research on emerging issues in the global rubber sector.

The research paper should cover a relevant topic related to the broader sustainability framework and sustainable development of the rubber sector. While candidates have freedom to choose their own topics, provided they are relevant for the rubber sector, preference will be given to those papers addressing research questions that fall under the thematic focus chosen by IRSG for this year: “How can rubber smallholders achieve sustainable development through rubber farming.”

The IRSGforResearch is open to all economists and researchers in social sciences who are in the process of completing a PhD or who have completed their degree in the last five years, with proven interest in the area of rubber economics. The candidate should submit a paper in English which should not exceed 15,000 words.

All submissions should be sent to IRSGforResearch@rubberstudy.com not later than December 13, 2019. Results will be announced on March 2, 2020.

For more information: IRSGforResearch2019

June 12, 2019

Orion expanding gas black capacity in Germany

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:48 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons announced today that it will expand its production capacity for Gas Blacks at its Cologne (Kalscheuren) plant, Germany through a debottlenecking project. Gas Blacks are a type of premium specialty carbon black used mainly in high-end coatings, including high jet automotive OEM and refinish paints, antistatic coatings, and packaging and UV curing inks. Orion’s press release pointed to greater demand for waterborne and solventborne coatings as the main driver for the expansion. According to Orion, Gas Blacks feature excellent fineness and a very narrow particle size distribution to provide the deepest blackness Specialty Carbon Blacks available on the market.

June 7, 2019

Orion announces change in fuel oil index for European carbon black pricing

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:52 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. announced today that it is adopting the Platts North West Europe 1% Sulfur fuel oil index (FO 1%S FOB NWE) for contract pricing in Europe replacing the 1% Sulfur Rotterdam fuel oil index (FO 1%S FOB ROT) in Europe as of July 1, 2019. According to the company’s press release, the 1% Sulfur Rotterdam fuel oil index is no longer functional, does not trade forward and does not track other 1% indices anymore. FO 1%S FOB NWE is currently functioning and therefore is the appropriate index at this time, according to Orion. The company said it uses low sulfur carbon black oil (CBO) grades in Europe.

“Orion values our European customers and strives to work with them in a highly transparent way,” said Erik Thiry, Senior Vice President Rubber Carbon Black, said in the press release. “Orion will continue to closely monitor CBO market changes with the upcoming IMO Marpol 2020 regulations. We will keep our customers updated if further required changes are needed due to changes in feedstock markets. We look forward to growing our customer relationships with the reliable supply of value-added carbon blacks.”

June 6, 2019

Lion Elastomers acquires SBR site from Firestone Polymers

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 3:42 pm

Lion Elastomers has acquired a styrene-butadiene copolymers production site owned and operated by Firestone Polymers in Orange, Texas.

The plant manufactures SBR compounds under the Stereon, Diene and Duradene trade names. According to the company, these products are complementary to Lion’s current portfolio and will further strengthen Lion’s ability to support the synthetic rubber industry once the deal has closed.

This purchase marks Lion’s second strategic acquisition in less than five years and is in line with Lion’s initiative to expand its business and provide greater value enhancement to its customers.

Read the full press release here.

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