In the Center of Attention: Automobiles
The automotive industry is the largest sales market for Carbon Black. Carbon Black is crucial in the production of tires. "This application area processed more than 7.8 million tonnes of Carbon Black in 2011", explains Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana.
Developments in the automotive industry have strong implications for the market for tires and are also dominating in the utilization of a range of rubber products. On average, manufacturers of Carbon Black have been able to profit from the sound development of the automotive market in the past eight years. Not only is the manufacturing of new automobiles of importance, but also the number of cars already in stock. In 2010, the threshold of 1 billion vehicles was exceeded for the first time.
Dominating Sales Market: Asia-Pacific
Most important growth motor on the market for Carbon Black will be Asia-Pacific. Market researchers forecast consumption and production volumes to increase at average rates of more than 4.5% p.a. each. China is dominating the market by single-handedly consuming more than 30% of total global Carbon Black market volume. Furthermore, this region will become a net-exporter in the future. Had Asia-Pacific used to import Carbon Black in the past, massive expansions of capacity will result in exports outnumbering imports in the upcoming years.
Risk Factor Commodity Price
Production costs and prices of Carbon Black are mainly influenced by the prices for raw materials and vary greatly due to volatile prices for crude oil. The increase of the average global crude oil price from US$27/barrel in 2003 to more than US$108/barrel in 2011 had caused prices to rise significantly in the past already. They rose by almost 130% in the same time frame. Even though the rise of production costs slows down in the upcoming years, pressure on income margins for manufacturers of Carbon Black will continue to increase.