By Liz White, ERJ staff
Menlo Park, California-CEH (Chemical Economics Handbook) has produced a new market report on the carbon black industry, which identifies a continuing long-term trend toward concentration and consolidation among suppliers of carbon black.â€
With the departure of oil companies from this sector, it is now dominated by chemical companies for whom carbon black is a core product,â€ the report says, with all major producers having global operations.
The three largest producers are Cabot Corp. Degussa AG and Columbian Chemicals Co.-the latter a subsidiary of Phelps Dodge Corp. and currently up for sale.
These three has about 40 percent of the 2004 world capacity of 9.0 million tonnes, the report said.
The next biggest-Sid Richardson Carbon Co., China Synthetic Rubber Corp. and Tokai Carbon Co.-account for another 10 percent of world capacity.
CEH says in spite of ongoing consolidation, globalisation of production and markets is causing capacity reductions in all major producing regions.
The leading producers are reducing capacity in developed countries and expanding (generally via partnership with local companies) in developing areas, especially in Asia and South America, according to the market research firm.
Long-term carbon black growth will closely parallel that of the rubber industry at about 2 percent per year.