US reconfirms anti-dumping duties on Indian & Chinese carbazole violet

US reconfirms anti-dumping duties on Indian & Chinese carbazole violet

FOCUS scale mortality studies on workers at carbon black plants in the UK, Germany and the US have been carried out, with the conclusion reached usual...

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FOCUS scale mortality studies on workers at carbon black plants in the UK, Germany and the US have been carried out, with the conclusion reached usually being that cumulative exposure to carbon black does not correlate with an elevated risk of lung cancer. Dr McCunney stressed the approach used in “lugging” dataanalyses, where recent exposures are considered as the most significant in assessing risk correlations. This contrasts against the “lagging” dataanalysis approach, as used by the US National Cancer Institute and similar institutes, where recent exposures (over the previous 10 or 20 years) are virtually ignored, so that distant exposures are considered to be the most important in assessing cancer risk. There has been growing concern over potential health risks associated with nanoparticulate substances, in line with the emergence of commercial-scale manufacture of these substances for various applications. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a nanoscale materials stewardship programme to assess scientific studies on possible health risks and Dr McCunney’s team at the ICBA voluntarily submitted evidence to the EPA. The main conclusions were: that there is a low exposure potential to nano-sized carbon black particles; that carbon black is a well-studied substance, for which the health hazards are well understood; and that decades of risk management experience have demonstrated that carbon black can be handled safely. A clean bill of health in fact. In the aftermath of the Vancouver conference, Mr Paul Ita (co-chairman and keynote speaker) wrote the following in his blog (Ref 2): “A thought that occurred to me at the conference was that the US carbon black industry has lousy luck. I say this because, after a record run-up in feedstock costs over the Summer, feedstock costs have plummeted in the third and fourth quarters of 2008, which should translate into fatter margins for carbon black suppliers, after five consecutive quarters of movement in the other direction (ie steady increases in feedstock costs quarter-to-quarter, which consistently favoured customers due to the contract lag). But, the sharp declines in feedstock

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costs are occurring now, at the same time that demand is dropping, as tyremakers announce production curtailments. So pricing (of carbon black) is taking a hit due to overcapacity. The part about lousy luck comes in when one considers that the same thing happened during the last period of protracted declines in feedstock prices, from 3Q 2006 to 1Q 2007. During this period, the beneficial effects of lower feedstock costs were mitigated by reduced demand due to the Goodyear (tyre plants) strike in the US during 4Q 2006, as well as several major tyre plant closures. What does this industry have to do to catch a break?” He also wrote: “One of my primary take-aways from the conference is that there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the market right now, not just in carbon black but all the way up the supply chain, from tyres to the automotive industry. It’s an uncertainty rooted in the unprecedented crisis in the global financial system over the last few months. What effect will the crisis have on consumer spending? On borrowing? Will companies be able to find financing for new projects? Even if financing is secured, will anyone go forward with risky new expansions during a time of such upheaval? Most importantly of all, how long will the credit crunch persist and will the crisis lead to a global recession? The answers to these questions are by no means clear at this time.” Reg Adams 1) The compendium of 17 conference papers plus documentation on the half-day seminar can be ordered for airmail delivery. For details, please contact: Ms Christine Groff, IntertechPira, 19 Northbrook Drive, Portland, ME 04105, US. Tel: +1 (207) 781 9630. Fax: +1 (207) 781 2150. E-mail: [email protected] Website: http://www.intertechpira.com 2) News from Notch Consulting Group, 8 Nov 2008. Website: http://notchconsulting.wordpress.com

MARKETS

the plastics sector); Martifin ATH pigments and fillers (widely used in the paper industry), Martoxid speciality aluminas and Compalox activated aluminas. Mr Wolfgang Hardtke (Global Business Director, Aluminium Speciality Chemicals) said: “Raw material prices continue to escalate, particularly for crude ATH and for energy, and these costs have forced us to raise prices for our own products as well. Coal and lignite prices are steadily rising and we are evaluating the (cost) impact of CO2 emission certificates on our business. We remain focused and committed to delivering high quality products that deliver value to our customers.” Albemarle and its wholly-owned subsidiary Martinswerk (of Germany) are the global market leaders in ATH. Press Release from: Albemarle Corp, 451 Florida Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, USA. Tel: +1 225 388 7402 or +1 800 535 3030. Website: http://www.albemarle.com (18 Nov 2008)

US reconfirms anti-dumping duties on Indian & Chinese carbazole violet On 8 September 2008, the US Department of Commerce (USDC) published its preliminary findings on imports of carbazole violet (Pigment Violet 23) from certain Indian and Chinese suppliers being sold at “less than fair value.” (See ‘Focus on Pigments’, Nov 2008, 3). The USDC invited comments from interested parties, but having received none, it pushed ahead with the publication of its final report. Anti-dumping duties will therefore be retained. For Alpanil Industries and Pidilite Industries (both based in India), the duty will be 66.59%, effective as from 5 December 2008. For eleven named Chinese suppliers, including Goldlink Industries, Aesthetic Colortech (Shanghai) and Anhui Worldbest IE Industries, the duty will be 241.32%, effective as from 9 January 2009. Federal Register, 5 Dec 2008, 73 (235), 74141-74142 & 9 Jan 2009, 74 (6), 883-884 (Website: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/advanced.html)

Albemarle raises ATH prices by 15-25% Effective 1 January 2009, Albemarle raised its prices across-the-board by 15-25% for all shipments of alumina trihydrate (ATH) and other aluminium speciality chemicals, notably: Martinal ATH flame retardants (widely used in

Plastics industry buys more GCC and other mineral fillers & pigments World production of all types of plastic reached 245 M tonnes in 2006 and plastics continue to make headway, displacing other more traditional

APRIL 2009