In November, this blog reported (here and here) that Sid Richardson had idled one of its tread units at its carbon black plant in Addis, Louisiana. Capacity at the idled unit was approximately 90 million pounds (about 40,000 tonnes). At that time the shutdown was announced, Sid Richardson indicated that it was considered temporary, and that there were no plans to drop production of any specific grades.
Notch has learned that the idled unit was started back up in January at reduced capacity after excess inventory had been sold off and contract requirements justified additional production.
Notch estimates that the US carbon black industry as a whole was operating at 63%–65% of capacity in the fourth quarter 2008.