NEW DELHI—A shortage of carbon black supply in India is causing a crisis in the Indian rubber industry, particularly the non-tire rubber segment, according to the All India Rubber Industries Association.
In a March 19 statement, AIRIA, an industry body of non-tire rubber products manufacturers, said the acute shortage of the key raw material had led to "shutting down of a large number of small- and medium-sized manufacturing units across the nation."
AIRIA has appealed to the Indian government to support small businesses as the "spiraling" prices of carbon black is "crippling the rubber industry."
Vikram Makar, senior vice-president of AIRIA, said a restriction in import of carbon black from China, Russia and other suppliers led to the material shortage within the Indian market. This has prompted small and medium-sized firms to approach "unauthorized markets" at very high premiums, leading to losses to their businesses.
"The impact of raw material (carbon black) shortage is so severe over the past few months that about 1,000-plus affected small units are on the verge of closure," Makar said..
He estimates this will lead to 200,000 job losses.
In a meeting with AIRIA, Indian carbon black suppliers have cited their commitment to existing customers, largely tire-makers, as the reason why they could not meet the demands of SMEs.
"They further confirmed that their plants are running on full capacity, with no further scope of increase in supply of carbon black," the Indian industry body added.
ARIA is asking the Indian government to make a number of policy changes immediately to end the crisis, including the permission to import carbon black without duty.