Specialty Carbon Black Market - Size, Share, Key Players Analysis, Growth Factors and Regional Forecast To 2031

Specialty carbon black can be customized and utilized in various applications such as printing, paints, coatings, plastics, and fiber.

Specialty Carbon Black is utilized in various applications, such as printing, paints, coatings, plastics, fiber, and paper. The growth in the global Specialty Carbon Black Market is expected to be driven by its increasing use as a pigment in plastics. However, government regulations regarding its utilization and volatile raw material prices are anticipated to hinder the market growth in the upcoming future.

Market Lifecycle Stage

Early civilizations adopted coal as a black pigment for writing letters in ancient Egypt and China. Carbon black was first made using the channel process in the late 19th century. The development of various carbon black's production technology, mostly driven by the growth of the tire business, came in industrial mass production around the start of the 20th century. Today, carbon black is a high-tech raw material with well-defined qualities that is extensively employed in a variety of applications such as plastics, tires, and coatings. Specialty carbon black is utilized in a range of coatings, polymers, and printing applications, among others.

Rising investments in research and development activities are expected to boost the growth of specialty carbon black. Specialty carbon black can be customized and utilized in various applications such as printing, paints, coatings, plastics, and fiber.


  •   The growth of specialty carbon black is closely tied to the plastics industry and the production of paint, coatings, and battery electrodes. The demand for specialty carbon black is gradually growing in China, Asia-Pacific, and Japan owing to the presence of key producers such as Birla Carbon, PCBL Limited, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, and Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd.

Impact of COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused several delays in manufacturing operations, which resulted in the slowdown of the specialty carbon black industry. Also, supply chain disruptions have negatively impacted the specialty carbon black market. Nowadays, companies are trying to secure long-term supply contracts with other suppliers, to maintain smooth operations.

Market Segmentation:

Segmentation 1: by Application

  •   Plastics 
  •   Battery Electrodes
  •   Paints and Coatings
  •   Inks and Toners
  •   Others

The specialty carbon black market is expected to be led by the plastics industry. Rising demand due to its UV protection and conductive properties is one of the key drivers behind the market growth.

Segmentation 2: by Form

  •     Granular
  •     Powder

The specialty carbon black market is dominated by the granular segment. This is due to the significant advances that have been made in handling and shipping granulated goods in recent years.

Segmentation 3: by Grade

  •     Fiber Carbon Black 
  •     Conductive Carbon Black
  •     Food Carbon Black 
  •     Others

The specialty carbon black market is estimated to be led by the fiber grades of carbon black owing to its extensive utilization in textile, industrial, and non-woven materials.

Segmentation 4: by Function

  •     Color
  •     UV Protection
  •     Conductive
  •     Others

The color segment is expected to have a significant share in the market. The primary function of specialty carbon black is coloring or pigmentation, which is the reason it is holding major share.

Segmentation 5: by Region

  •   North America - U.S., Canada, and Mexico
  •   Europe - Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Rest-of-Europe
  •   China
  •   U.K.
  •   Asia-Pacific and Japan - Japan, India, South Korea, and Rest-of-Asia-Pacific 
  •   Rest-of-the-World

Asia-Pacific and Japan are anticipated to gain traction in terms of specialty carbon black production owing to the presence of key market players such as Cabot Corporation, Birla Carbon, Phillips Carbon Black Limited, and Himadri Specialty Chemical Ltd., among others.

Recent Developments in Specialty Carbon Black Market -

  •   In August 2021, Orion Engineered Carbons announced the establishment of a second plant in China for specialty and high-performance carbon black, which helped the company to strengthen its position as one of the leading suppliers of specialty and high-performance carbon black.
  •   In February 2022, Cabot Corporation announced the groundbreaking of a new specialty compounds facility in Cilegon, Indonesia. The new capacity is expected to provide a reliable, local supply to support the increasing need for specialty compounds in the rapidly growing masterbatch and conductive compounds market in Southeast Asia and globally.
  •   In January 2020, Phillips Carbon Black Limited opened Sushila Goenka Innovation Centre in Belgium. Its focus areas have been on the development of new and customized carbon black grades and modification in the process design of existing carbon black grades.

Demand – Drivers and Limitations

Following are the demand drivers for the specialty carbon black market:

  •   Increasing Prominence of Specialty Carbon in the Plastics Industry
  •   Rising Demand for Specialty Carbon Black for Lithium-Ion Batteries

The market is expected to face some limitations due to the following challenges:

  •   High Cost of Specialty Carbon Black
  •   Growing Environment Concern due to Usage of Specialty Carbon Black

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How Can This Report Add Value to an Organization?

Product/Innovation Strategy: The product segment helps the reader understand the different types of specialty carbon black available for deployment and their potential globally. Moreover, the study provides the reader a detailed understanding of specialty carbon black by application (plastics, battery electrodes, paints coatings, inks toners, and others), by form (granular and powder), by grade (conductive carbon black, fiber carbon black, food carbon black, and others), and by function (color, UV protection, conductive, and others).

Growth/Marketing Strategy: The specialty carbon black market has seen major development by key players operating in the market, such as business expansion, partnership, collaboration, and joint venture. The favored strategy for the companies has been mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their position in the specialty carbon black market. For instance, in 2022, Cabot Corporation completed the acquisition of Tokai Carbon (Tianjin) Co., Ltd, a carbon black plant in China.

Competitive Strategy: Key players in the specialty carbon black market analyzed and profiled in the study involve specialty carbon black manufacturers. Moreover, a detailed competitive benchmarking of the players operating in the specialty carbon black market has been done to help the reader understand how players stack against each other, presenting a clear market landscape. Additionally, comprehensive competitive strategies such as partnerships, agreements, and collaborations will aid the reader in understanding the untapped revenue pockets in the market.

Analyst Thoughts

According to Shivam Priyadarshi, Principal Analyst, BIS Research, "The demand for specialty carbon black market is rising due to its increasing usage in plastics, battery electrodes, paints, coatings, and others. Many end-use industries rely on the unique properties of specialty carbon black to deliver performance characteristics, maintain the correct viscosity level, and provide UV protection, which is expected to boost the market growth in forecasted years."

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