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Specialty Carbon Black Market : Industry Outlook by 2027

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Specialty Carbon Black Market: Key Highlights

  • In terms of value, the global specialty carbon black market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2019 to 2027.
  • Specialty carbon black is a non-rubber grade of carbon black. Plastics is the key application of specialty carbon black. It is used in wires, cables, and electrostatic dissipation (ESD) and conductive plastics.
  • The plastics segment accounted for a major share of the global specialty carbon black market in 2018, owing to the rise in the consumption of plastics for wires, cables, and ESD products, coupled with improvement in infrastructure across the globe. On the other hand, the battery electrodes segment of the global specialty carbon black market is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period.
  • The granule form segment dominated the global specialty carbon black market in 2018, due to cost effectiveness of the granule form. Moreover, the granule form of specialty carbon black can be easily transformed into a powder form with different specifications as per requirement.
  • The specialty carbon black market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a CAGR of ~ 4% during the forecast period, due to the rising demand for carbon black in plastics and battery electrodes.

Rising Demand for Specialty Carbon Black in Wires & Cables and ESD Applications of Plastics

  • Significant growth of the construction industry, primarily in developing economies such as China, India, and Brazil, backed by private and public investments, has augmented the demand for wires and cables across the globe. Specialty carbon is a preferred additive for wires and cables, owing to its superior conductive properties. This, in turn, is driving the demand for specialty carbon black in plastic applications.
  • Furthermore, rising concerns about safety in industrial and domestic applications have fueled the demand for ESD products. This, in turn, is anticipated to augment the demand for specialty carbon black in automobile and construction industries, due to the stable and reliable operation of specialty carbon black containing ESD materials. 

Volatility in Prices of Raw Materials Likely to Pose Significant Challenges

  • The prices of raw materials required in the manufacture of specialty carbon black are dependent on the prices of feedstock oil, natural gas, high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO), anthracene oil, and raw coal tar. The prices of these products are dependent upon the highly volatile prices of oil and gas.
  • The volatile nature of oil prices compels manufacturers to increase the prices of specialty carbon black products. Thus, volatility in the prices of raw materials may hinder the global specialty carbon black market during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific to be a Highly Lucrative Region in the Specialty Carbon Black Market

  • In terms of value, Asia Pacific held a major share, i.e. ~ 45 % share of the global specialty carbon black market in 2018.
  • Developing economies of Asia Pacific such as China and India have experienced significant rise in the demand for wires, cables, and other conductive plastic applications over the last few years, due to the growth of the construction industry in these countries. The excellent conductive properties of specialty carbon black make it a preferred additive for plastic applications. This, in turn, is anticipated to drive the demand for specialty carbon black in Asia Pacific from 2019 to 2027.
  • Furthermore, the demand for lithium-ion batteries has increased significantly in the recent past, due to the increased demand for electric vehicles and consumer electronic products across the globe. China, South Korea, and Taiwan are key exporters of batteries. Thus, the rise in the demand for lithium-ion batteries is estimated to positively impact the demand for specialty carbon black in Asia Pacific during the forecast period. 

Global Specialty Carbon Black Market – Key Developments

  • In May 2018, Cabot Corporation announced plans to expand its global carbon black production capacity by 300,000 metric tons by increasing the capacity of its facility at Cilegon, Indonesia, by approximately 160,000 metric tons.
  • In 2017, Birla Carbon established a Greenfield specialty carbon black project of the capacity of 0.12 million metric tons at Jining in the Shandong province of China. The company is planning to increase the production capacity to 0.24 million metric tons in the second phase. The plant is intended to cater to the huge customer base in China.

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Specialty Carbon Black – Competition Landscape

  • The top three players hold ~ 55% share of the global specialty carbon black market. Thus, the global specialty carbon black market is highly consolidated. Key producers of carbon black have shifted their focus toward the research and development of specialty-grade carbon black, as it is low-volume and high-value grade among all grades of carbon black.
  • Key players operating in the global specialty carbon black market are Cabot Corporation, Imerys, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Denka Company Limited, Phillips Carbon Black Limited, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., Lion Specialty Chemicals Co., Ltd., Birla Carbon, Ampacet Corporation, Himadri Specialty Chemical Ltd., Continental Carbon, Orion Engineered Carbons, Asbury Carbons, Pyrolex AG, and Black Bear Carbon B.V.
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