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Notch updates precipitated silica report

Notch Consulting has published the latest edition of the Silica Market Update, a biannual report on the precipitated silica industry. The April 2012 issue is 31 pages with 10 tables detailing silica demand by region, market, and application, current pricing by application and region (US, EU, China), nameplate production capacity by company and country, and recent and proposed capacity expansion projects. The report includes a separate Excel spreadsheet providing extensive supplemental data, including demand by market and application, as well as detailed regional breakdowns by country.

The global precipitated silica market saw good growth in 2011 despite a relatively weak 4Q 2011 caused by a weaker demand from truck tires in Europe. Global demand reached 2 million tonnes, with year-on-year gains of close to 6%. Despite the slowdown in the fourth quarter, Notch expects silica demand to remain robust in 2012, driven largely by a solid outlook in the motor vehicle market, which should drive silica demand in tire, non-tire, battery separator, and paint markets, as well as stable growth in oral care and nutrition/health applications (e.g., food, ag feed, cosmetics).

Looking forward, suppliers are investing heavily in new capacity to meet future demand, and the Silica Market Update details 22 recent or proposed capacity expansion projects. All major suppliers, including Evonik Industries, Rhodia, PPG Industries, Huber Engineered Materials, and OSC, have either recently completed or are in the process of expansions. The solid prospects for silica is attracting new producers; in particular, several of China’s major carbon black producers are diversifying into silica production as well, including Jiangxi Black Cat Carbon Black, Longxing Chemical Industry, and Shanndong Jinneng Science & Technology. These projects, along with several very ambitious expansion projects by established Chinese silica producers, has raised the specter of overcapacity over the next two to four years. However, it is not clear yet how much of this new announced capacity will be built or on what schedule.

Here is an overview of the Silica Market Update. To order the report, contact Notch Consulting Group (information in sidebar to right).

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