14 January 1999 02:40 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Japanese titanium oxide (TiO2) producers expect poorer results this financial year (FY), ending 31 March 1999, because of weak domestic demand and thin margins, CNI learned Thursday.
Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd expects pre-tax profits to decline by 23% to Yen4.5bn ($40.5m/Euro34.7m), from sales that are likely to fall by 3% to Yen81.3bn, versus the previous FY.
The company attributed the anticipated results to declining TiO2 demand in the agrochemical and bio-products markets.
Sakai Chemical Industry Co expects pre-tax profits to fall by 7% from the previous FY to Yen2.8bn. The company projects lower sales, down by 2% to Yen40.0bn.
A source there said: "Sakai was hit by its customers' sluggish sales of catalysts, zinc and stabilisers."
Industry sources said the same trend is being experienced by most other TiO2 producers.
An exception is Tayca Corp which, boosted by favourable exports to the Middle East and Europe, expects pre-tax profits to rise by 98% to Yen900.0m.
Its overall sales, despite being hit by falling demand from the domestic surface-active and sulphuric acid markets, are expected to increase by 2% to Yen24.0bn.
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