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Published on September 4, 2006

Silica riding tire demand to continued growth

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Date Published September 4, 2006
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Precipitated silica consumption will jump an average of 4.7 percent per year during the next decade, largely because of demand by the tire industry, according to a new study.

The use of silica in fuel-efficient, winter and high-performance tires will spur growth in the chemical's demand to 2.1 million metric tons, worth $2.5 billion, in 2015, predicted the Notch Consulting Group. The tire industry has been a major driver in precipitated silica use for the past decade.

Greater demand in the original equipment passenger tire sectors of the U.S. and Japan, and aftermarket overall, will boost the chemical's use, Notch said. The study said 31 percent of demand for precipitated silica in 2005 came from the tire sector; 27 percent from non-tire rubber; 11 percent from dentifrice; 11 percent from the combined food, agricultural feed, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals sector; 7 percent from paints; 5 percent from plastics; and 4 percent from paints, coatings and inks.

The report, World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2006, said the global precipitated silica industry is dominated by five companies-Degussa A.G. of Germany, Rhodia S.A. of France, U.S.-based PPG Industries Inc. and J.M. Huber Corp. (Huber Engineered Materials) and Tokuyama/OSC Group, a joint venture between Tokuyama Corp. of Japan and OSC Group of Taiwan.

Together, these five companies control more than 75 percent of world capacity.

For information on how to purchase the 292-page report, visit Notch's Web site, www.notchconsulting.com.