BOSTON (July 24)—Cabot Corp. remains concerned about the performance of its carbon black business, despite gains made in the second quarter, according to Kennneth Burnes, its chairman and CEO. "Competition in the carbon black market is intense, and the company is currently experiencing downward price pressure at the same time as raw material costs are increasing," Burnes said in a statement. Operating profit on carbon black was "the same as the prior year's quarter," the Boston-based group reported. Carbon black volumes, meanwhile, fell 4 percent globally, including declines of 6 percent and 12 percent in Europe and North America, respectively, according to the statement. Cabot's carbon black operation is part of the group's Chemical Businesses segment, which reported an 11-percent rise in earnings to $30 million on second-quarter sales of $366 million, 15 percent higher than in prior-year period.