News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 8, 2019

Michelin expands Tweel offerings for skid steers

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 11:54 am

Tire Business reports that Michelin North America has expanded the range of its Tweel non-pneumatic tire/wheel hybrid with a pair of products designed for skid-steers with maximum loads of up to 4,400 pounds. The Tweel SSL AT2 and HST2 are designed for all-terrain and hard-surface applications, respectively. Michelin launched the tires in size 12N16.5, which has applications in construction, paving, agriculture, recycling, landscaping, refuse and contracting.

August 6, 2019

Cabot adding feedstock surcharge to specialty black sales in North America

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:06 pm

Today, Cabot Corporation announced that it will implement a feedstock surcharge for all specialty carbon black products manufactured in North America. The decision is driven by new low sulfur fuel regulations. Cabot will institute a surcharge of $0.07/pound for all orders shipped on or after September 16, 2019, or as customer contracts allow, for all specialty carbon black products produced by its Performance Chemicals segment in North America.

Cabot’s specialty carbon blacks are produced from high quality, low sulfur feedstocks that are sourced from a similar pool as marine fuels. This market is undergoing significant change due to the 2020 International Maritime Organization (IMO 2020) fuel sulfur regulation, also known as MARPOL. Though the IMO 2020 regulation is set to be implemented in January 2020, changes in certain supply chains are already evident.

In a press release announcing the decision, Jay Doubman, Cabot’s senior vice president and president, Performance Additives said, “We recognize this new rule will bring long-term benefits to the environment and human health; it also presents disruption in the industry and comes with upfront costs to adapt. This change in industry structure will take time to stabilize, and we are committed to providing transparency and predictability to our customers.”

Cabot expects that once new lower sulfur indices are stabilized and fully adopted by the supply chain, it will transition to pricing and indices that appropriately represent the input costs of carbon black.

August 1, 2019

Birla Carbon raising specialty black prices in North America

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:01 pm

On August 1, Birla Carbon announced it will raise prices for all specialty carbon blacks in North America by 9% effective September 1, 2019. All shipments made on or after this date are subject to the price increase. According to Birla, the increase is necessary due to extreme cost increases in carbon black feedstock. In addition, Birla Carbon will implement a revised schedule of fees for non-standard package services, also effective September 1, 2019. 

Here is the press release. 

July 31, 2019

Toyo picks Serbia as site for new tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 9:27 pm

From R&P News comes the news that Toyo Tire will build a $450 million passenger and light truck tire plant in Europe. Toyo has selected a 150-acre site about 35 miles northwest of Belgrade for the factory, which will be rated at 5 million units a year at full capacity. Toyo plans to break ground in May 2020 at the site in Indija, Serbia, with production slated to start by January 2022. The plant is expected to hit full capacity by summer 2023 with 500 employees, Toyo said. The plant will be Toyo’s eighth tire factory worldwide and make Toyo the 15th global tire company with production capacity in Europe.

2020 Corvette will feature Michelin all-season run-flats

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 7:55 pm

Tire Business reports that the new 2020 Corvette will be equipped with Michelin’s Pilot Sport ALS run-flats, which Michelin said were designed in concert with Chevrolet engineers in response to customer feedback.The fitments are 245/35ZR19 front and 305/30ZR20 rear. The higher-powered Z51 version gets Pilot Sport 4S run-flats.

PCBL opens R&D center

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 7:49 pm

Phillips Carbon Black has completed a state-of-the-art R&D center at Palej, Gujarat. Spread over 27,000 square feet, the Sushila Goenka Research and Development Centre entailed an initial investment of Rs 20 crore (US$3 million) and currently employs 30 researchers. It will facilitate development of new carbon black products for tire, MRG, and specialty markets, including engineering plastics, fibers, food contact plastics, wire & cables, ink, paints, batteries and other applications.

Michelin considering future of German tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 7:38 pm

ERJ reports that Michelin is considering the future of its car tire production plant in Bamberg as demand continues to fall for smaller-rim tire sizes.

The plant, which specializes in the production of smaller-sized passenger car tires, is facing “substantial difficulties” as competition from Chinese manufacturers increases and European drivers gravitate toward vehicles with larger tires, according to Maira Tuerk, site and change communication manager at Michelin Reifenwerke A.G.

“The range of low-budget products has developed rapidly, (and) since 2010, the market share of the 16-inch premium segment has dropped from 60 percent to 40 percent,” Tuerk said.

The French tire maker has entered into negotiations with the works council of the plant and unions to examine options for the future of the site.

The factory employs around 850 and manufactures 8 million tires per year.

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.

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