Boston, Massachusetts – Cabot Corp. has reported lower sales due to weakened market conditions and inventory reductions at the end of 2019.
In an earnings call earlier this month, CEO and president Sean Keohane said trading in Europe had softened with carbon-black supply coming online from Russian producers.
The new capacity, added the Cabot boss, impacted contract negotiations and led to a decision to “let go [of] some lower-margin [products] in tire business.”
Keohane said Cabot’s carbon black volumes in Europe would be about 5% lower year-on-year from the second quarter of its 2020 fiscal year, which began in October 2019.
The move to focus on higher-value contracts, said Keohane, “will enable us to supply the spot market and to support growth" as the market strengthens.
In a statement to ERJ on 19 Feb, the US-based company said it would use the spare capacity to serve its rubber black, special black, and speciality compounds businesses should the market improve.
Cabot manufactures rubber black grades at four European production plants in Botlek, The Netherlands; Valasske, Czech Republic; Port Jerome, France and Ravenna, Italy.