LEATHERHEAD, England—Major market demand for tires, non-tire rubber and specialties is on the rise and Smithers Rapra forecasts a steady growth in the carbon black market as a result. According to the Leatherhead-based company, the carbon black market is poised for a 3.74 percent compound annual growth rate through 2021.
“The market is being driven primarily by demand growth in tires, with investments in capacity for passenger vehicle tires and light truck tires continuing strongly, and a stable replacement market,” said Matthew Hartley, author of the report “The Future of Carbon Black 2021.”
“The off-road tire market has seen good growth as a result of construction and mining investments. The swath of new tire investments that occurred in 2015, in North America in particular, will continue into 2016 with the promise of continued good growth.”
According to the Smithers Rapra report, global capacity will struggle to meet new market demands unless new capacities are developed. It predicts that plants will operate at higher utilization rates and increasedoutput, leading to higher profit margins.
Globally, there are some major trends emerging within the carbon black market, according to Hartley's findings and his report indicates how each will impact the market geographically.
Domestically, the U.S. has shifted to importing more carbon black from outside of North America. Particularly, imports from China, Japan, India and Western Europe are on the rise. Imports from Russia quadrupled between 2013 and 2014, while imports from Germany and the Czech Republic also increased.
China, meanwhile, has increased its exports to the U.S., Poland, Turkey and Western Europe. This has resulted in anti-dumping measures being investigated and asserted in countries including the U.S. and India.
From 2011 to 2015, the carbon black market grew at an average of 5.4 percent, reaching 13 million metric tons in the final year of that five year period. The growth signaled a turnaround for the market, which began its rebound in 2011 following a period of 15 percent contraction between 2008 and 2009.