For the Quarter Ending June 2021
North American market encountered a steep rise in prices of Carbon Black during Q2 2021, backed by rising production and firm demand from downstream sector. During this quarter, prolonged production hindrance played an important role in raising the cost of several raw materials used in tire manufacturing segment in USA. Tire sector showcased a firm rise in offtakes in the meantime following the recovery in automotive sector, which increased the demand for downstream products across the region. In addition, jump in crude oil prices and rising production cost also left additional impact on the prices of Carbon Black in the North America region. Therefore, the price of Carbon Black grade N-351 rose from USD 1415/MT to USD 1686/MT during this timeframe.
Asian market faced mixed sentiments during this quarter, where price trend varied country by country. In China, prices of Carbon Black reached its peak during the month of May. The price rise was backed by rising production cost, freight, logistics issues along with limited product availability after plant shutdowns of Jinneng Science & Technologies, and Shandong OCI Jinyang. Meanwhile, Indian market battled with second wave of pandemic, which reduced the demand for Carbon Black from tire manufacturers in India, especially during May. Later, during second half of June, prices started rebounding, as the demand improved with gradual resumption in market activities. Therefore, by the end of quarter, prices of Carbon Black hovered around USD 1343/MT and USD 1312/MT for hard grade N-220 in China and India, respectively.
During this quarter, European Carbon Black manufacturers raised their product prices, backed by revival in demand from tire manufacturers after pandemic. European tire manufacturers experienced an effective recovery from pandemic, which increased the demand for Carbon Black across the European region. Major manufacturers like Orion and Cabot announced increment in their prices for EMEA, effective from 1st
of July 2021. Where Orion increased their average price by USD 130/MT. The rise was primarily influenced by global hike in freight, logistics and production costs.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The Carbon black market of North America remained moderate to firm during Q1 2021. Freezing weather across Texas halted the production activity and created global shortage of almost all prime petrochemicals. Meanwhile, the demand for Carbon black from tyre manufacturers remained mild to low during this period, due to constrained production of tyres. Thus, the prices took a short leap of 3.34% and settled at USD 1390/MT till March end. On the other side, South Korean carbon black giant Hankook tire & technology announced a plan to double their plant capacity by investing USD 91 million in their Tennessee-based production unit, this will improve the supply activity of Carbon black across the region.
The Asian Carbon black market remained consistently strong throughout the quarter, where market sentiments of tyre manufacturers remained uplifted. Chinese manufacturer’s sentiments were enhanced after the announcement from the Indian government after they decided to not impose antidumping duty of USD 494/MT on Carbon black imports from China. Although shortage occurred after Chinese Lunar year which led to prices to rise effectively. The average price of carbon black increased from USD 1330 per MT (January 2021) to USD 1365 per MT (March 2021). Meanwhile in the Indian market carbon black giant, Birla Carbon announced to increase their Carbon Black prices by 9%, with effective from 19th April.
Europe had witnessed mild to low demand for Carbon black from the tire manufacturing sector. Although feeble supply supported the prices to rise effectively, lower domestic supply and lower imports from US amidst freezing weather forced local manufacturers to raise their Carbon black prices. Responding to the global surge in Carbon black rates, Orion Engineering carbon, a big market player of Europe, increased its high-performance Carbon black prices by 20% globally, which came into effect starting 1st
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Against the backdrop of continued global recession in the automobile industry, the Asian Carbon Black industry registered substantial gains compared to its Q2 performance. Sharp pick-up in demand for replacement tires seemed potentially significant to negate the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the automotive supply chain. The demand for Rubber Carbon Black & Specialty Carbon Black in China has recently gained traction because the COVID recovery rate in China turned in favor. Producers reported considerable benefits from a sudden consumer shift towards personal mobility as economies opened to lift lockdown restrictions. With ASEAN and China being important markets in terms of tires and Carbon Black trading, Carbon Black prices picked up in India to assess around USD 1250 per MT CFR.
The North American Carbon Black markets witnessed back-to-back increment in the product prices during Q3 2020. The uptrend seemed strongly supported by increasing cost of operations, labor, and tightening environmental regulations in line with the revision of sustainable manufacturing standards. Cabot announced upwards revision in the Carbon Black pricing in mid-August equivalent to USD 66 per tonne, amid better capacity utilization on the back of recovering rubber tire manufacturing in the US. In addition, Tokai Carbon – the largest carbon black producer in North America, announced rise in prices for all its Carbon Black products in the US by USD 40-50 per tonne during the quarter. This was primarily due to tighter regulations imposed on the bunker fuel oil Sulphur content by international Marine Organization (IMO). On the demand front, manufacturers observed that demand for Carbon Black recovered rather well in Q3, versus the historic plunge experienced during the second quarter.
The European Carbon Black market was struggling to maintain its margins as the economy battled to stand against the COVID-led headwinds. The third quarter outlook however, seemed to gain strength from the tyre applications as driving remained the preferred mode of transportation with people preferring to maintain stringent physical distancing amid surging cases. Demand for Carbon Black for manufacturing ink for printed materials remained an area of weakness, keeping the specialty Carbon Black sales largely pressured.