Specialty Carbon Black Manufacturers Eye Opportunities in Wide-ranging Industries

Right from the automotive industry to the printing industry, carbon black has become ubiquitous across various industrial verticals. However, the constantly growing need for highly-advanced products is triggering innovation in the carbon black industry. The demand for specialty and high-value carbon black is on the rise, as the preference of end-users continues to evolve.

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Specialty carbon black’s highly-touted properties, including ultraviolet (UV) protection, conductivity in plastics, and its ability to enhance the aesthetic appeal of various products are boosting its adoption. Transparency Market Research (TMR), in its latest offering, thoroughly analyzes the specialty carbon black market, and offers credible and incisive insights that can arm stakeholders with the arsenal to succeed.

specialty carbon black market infographic

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Market to Evolve through Environmental Regulations and Price Volatility

The specialty carbon black landscape has witnessed healthy growth in the past few years, recording global sales of ~ 1,000 kilo tons, worth ~ US$ 2 billion in 2018. With a mounting number of manufacturers in this market space, including Himadri Specialty Chemical Ltd, Orion Engineered Carbons and Cabot Corporation, expanding their production facilities, the specialty carbon black market is expected to witness significant developments in the coming years. Himadri Specialty Chemical has announced the setting up new carbon black production lines at its existing integrated plant at Mahistikry in West Bengal, India, for the production of specialty carbon black.

On the other hand, Orion Engineered Carbons has announced the expansion of the production capacity at its manufacturing facility in Ravenna, Italy, Europe, owing to the growing applications of specialty carbon black in the coatings, polymers, and printing markets. Also, Cabot Corporation is investing ~ US$ 50 million in 18 of its carbon black facilities to cater to the increasing demand from its customers in the specialty carbon black market, through debottlenecking projects and operational improvements.

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Though the demand for specialty carbon black is surging, the environmental impact of its manufacturing continues to be a concern. Complying with stringent regulations can add to the overall cost for specialty carbon black manufacturers, while delaying the product’s time to market. Thus, the expansion ambitions of manufacturers can be stymied due to the complexities and investments involved in meeting environment regulations.

Many manufacturers, in a bid to recover regulation costs, have introduced an environmental compliance surcharge to prices of carbon black. For instance, Tokai, a carbon black manufacturer, is adding a ‘3 cents per pound’ environmental compliance surcharge to their prices. Another carbon black leader, Orion Engineered Carbons, has announced an environmental compliance surcharge of 1.5 cents per pound. This surcharge has been implemented to address the initial estimated cost of compliance to reinforce materials for customers, and will influence the pricing of specialty carbon black in the coming years.

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