Global Specialty Carbon Black Market 2021
The global specialty carbon black market was valued at $3,645 million in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.82% to reach $6,378 million by 2031. Specialty carbon black is widely used in various industries such as printing, paints, coatings, plastics, fiber, and paper. The market growth is primarily driven by the increasing use of specialty carbon black as a pigment in plastics. However, government regulations on its usage and volatile raw material prices are expected to hinder market growth in the future.
Specialty carbon black is an important additive in industries like plastics, paint, coatings, and others. It comes in different grades, each tailored for specific applications. Specialty carbon black offers characteristics such as high-quality pigmentation, viscosity control, UV protection, dispersion, and electrical conductivity. The selection of specialty carbon black depends on the requirements of the end-use product. Its increasing application range is attributed to its durability, corrosion resistance, flexibility, and low maintenance requirements. The demand for specialty carbon black is driven by the growing need for electrical and electronic components in devices like microwaves, ovens, phones, tablets, laptops, televisions, music players, and fax machines. The market growth is further supported by the expanding plastics and packaging industry, increased electrification in the automotive sector, and the demand for conductive materials in electronics. Developing economies are expected to drive the demand for specialty carbon black.
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USD 3.7 billion in 2020
Application, Form, Grade, Function, Region
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Carbon black was initially used as a black pigment for writing in ancient Egypt and China. Industrial production of carbon black began in the late 19th century, mainly driven by the tire industry. The development of various production technologies led to mass production in the early 20th century. Today, carbon black is a high-tech raw material with well-defined qualities used extensively in applications such as plastics, tires, and coatings. Specialty carbon black finds applications in coatings, polymers, printing, and more.
Increased investments in research and development activities are expected to contribute to the growth of the specialty carbon black market. Specialty carbon black can be customized and used in various applications such as printing, paints, coatings, plastics, and fibers.
The growth of the specialty carbon black market is closely linked to the plastics industry, as well as the production of paints, coatings, and battery electrodes. The demand for specialty carbon black is increasing in China, Asia-Pacific, and Japan, where key producers like Birla Carbon, PCBL Limited, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, and Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. are located.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in manufacturing delays and supply chain disruptions, negatively impacting the specialty carbon black industry. Companies are now seeking long-term supply contracts with alternative suppliers to maintain smooth operations.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including application, form, grade, function, and region.
Segmentation by Application
Paints and Coatings
Inks and Toners
Segmentation by Form
Segmentation by Grade
Fiber Carbon Black
Conductive Carbon Black
Food Carbon Black
Segmentation by Function
Segmentation by Region
North America – U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Europe – Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Rest-of-Europe
Asia-Pacific and Japan – Japan, India, South Korea, and Rest-of-Asia-Pacific
The specialty carbon black market is projected to be led by the plastics industry, driven by its increasing demand for UV protection and conductive properties. In 2021, the plastics segment dominated the market in terms of value and volume, and this trend is expected to continue until 2031. The substantial growth in the plastics market share can be attributed to the rising demand from various sectors such as fibers, molded parts, wires and cables, pressure pipes, food packaging products, and automotive parts.
Granular carbon black currently dominates the specialty carbon black market, mainly due to significant advancements in handling and shipping granulated goods. The global market is categorized into granular and powder forms, with the granular form expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period (2022-2031). The popularity of the granular form stems from its advantages, including lower cost and ease of transportation.
Fiber grades of carbon black are estimated to lead the specialty carbon black market, owing to their extensive utilization in textile, industrial, and non-woven materials. Fiber carbon black accounted for the largest market share in 2021 and is projected to maintain its position during the forecast period. It finds application in industries such as packaging, automotive, electrical and electronics, primarily in textiles, industrial materials, and non-woven materials. Additionally, it is also used in polypropylene (PP) fiber to provide color, physical cleanliness, and UV resistance.
The color segment is expected to hold a significant share in the market. Specialty carbon black’s primary function is coloring or pigmentation, contributing to its major market share. The color function has the largest share in terms of volume and value in 2021, owing to its wide range of applications in plastics, paints, inks, toners, and other sectors.
Asia-Pacific and Japan are anticipated to witness increased specialty carbon black production due to the presence of key market players such as Cabot Corporation, Birla Carbon, Phillips Carbon Black Limited, and Himadri Specialty Chemical Ltd. These regions led the specialty carbon black market in 2021 and are expected to maintain their dominance throughout the forecast period, benefiting from significant players like Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Denka Company Limited, Birla Carbon, Phillips Carbon Black Limited (PCBL Limited), Himadri Specialty Chemical Ltd., among others. The market growth is primarily driven by the growing demand for specialty carbon black in diverse end-use applications such as automotive, plastics, and packaging, which is expected to propel market expansion during the forecast period (2022-2031).
The selection of the profiled companies was conducted based on inputs obtained from primary experts, as well as through analysis of company coverage, product portfolio, and market penetration.
Key companies profiled in this report include Orion Engineered Carbons, Cabot Corporation, Birla Carbon, PCBL Limited, Himadri Specialty Chemical Ltd., Continental Carbon, Imerys S.A., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., OMSK Carbon Group, Lion Specialty Chemicals Co., Ltd., Denka Company Limited, Geotech International B.V., Klean Industries Inc., Black Bear Carbon B.V., Beilum Carbon Chemical Limited, Zaozhuang Xinyuan Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., Hangzhou Dimacolor Co., Ltd., Henan Xinxu Chemical Co., Ltd.
Recent Industry Developments
In August 2021, Orion Engineered Carbons made an announcement regarding the establishment of a second plant in China dedicated to specialty and high-performance carbon black. This strategic move has significantly enhanced the company’s position as one of the leading suppliers of specialty and high-performance carbon black.
In February 2022, Cabot Corporation initiated the groundbreaking process for a new facility specializing in specialty compounds in Cilegon, Indonesia. The purpose of this venture is to meet the increasing demand for specialty compounds in the thriving masterbatch and conductive compounds market, both in Southeast Asia and globally. The establishment of this new capacity aims to provide a local and dependable supply to cater to the growing market requirements.
In January 2020, Phillips Carbon Black Limited inaugurated the Sushila Goenka Innovation Centre in Belgium. This state-of-the-art center primarily focuses on developing novel and customized grades of carbon black. Additionally, it undertakes modifications in the process design of existing carbon black grades, ensuring continuous innovation and improvement.
Key Questions Answered
What are the primary factors and trends influencing the adoption of specialty carbon black?
What are some of the key initiatives undertaken by existing players to enhance their market positioning, and what strategies do new entrants into this market employ?
In terms of the various commercially available types of specialty carbon black, which categories are leading, what are the promising applications, preferred types in the market, and how will they evolve in the future?
What are the latest developments regarding the development of specialty carbon black in different countries globally?
What are the obstacles to adoption in different regions and countries? Additionally, are there any government regulations worldwide impacting the specialty carbon black market?
How has the specialty carbon black market been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide?
When can specialty carbon black be expected to become more economically viable compared to traditional carbon black?
what are the barriers hindering the adoption of specialty carbon black, and what are the key strategic plans expected to address those obstacles?