Guangzhou, China - China’s carbon black sector has opened new facilities with 420,000 tonne annual capacity in 2018 and will likely add another 500,000 tonnes in 2019.
Last year, three of the country’s top ten carbon black makers, Shanxi Anlun Chemicals, Shanxi Sanqiang New Energy and Shanxi Yongdong Chemistry Industry, added 100,000 tonnes, 100,000 tonnes and 80,000 tonnes to their current annual capacity respectively.
Colombia (Jining) Chemical, a joint venture with India’s carbon black giant Birla, added 80,000 tonnes.
The sector has been raising capacity by roughly 400,000 tonnes per year since 2002, said Jiang Huaguang, deputy general manager of China’s largest carbon black maker Black Cat during his speech at the China Rubber Conference held in Guangzhou this March.
The country’s total annual capacity reached 7.5 million tonne in 2018, although production was only 5.7 million.
According a survey by the China Rubber Industry Association, 20% of carbon black makers in the country was in the red last year, compared with 12% in 2017. Demand has also been declining since its 2017 peak.
China’s 2018 carbon black export, however, upped 23% in volume to 897,000 tonnes and 55% in value to $1.07 billion, both record highs and at higher prices compared with 2017.
“This was mainly driven by Chinese tire makers’ increasing overseas plants,” said Jiang.