24 June 2008 22:49 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US pigment maker Kronos Worldwide announced on Tuesday a surcharge and price increase for its titanium dioxide (TiO2) sold outside of North America and Europe, the second such announcement the company has made this month.
The surcharge of $75/tonne (€48/tonne) is scheduled to take effect on 15 July, and a price increase of $100/tonne on 1 August, the company said. Regions affected by the increase include Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
On 5 June, the company announced similar measures for those regions, including a $75/tonne surcharge for 23 June and a price increase of $150/tonne for 1 July, which Kronos said was being implemented.
In May, the company announced a surcharge of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) and a price increase of 5 cent/lb in North America, effective on 9 June. It announced a surcharge of €40/tonne and a price hike of €50/tonne in Europe, effective on 15 June.
Other companies have followed suit.
The latest was on 23 June when DuPont Titanium Technologies announced a 6 cent/lb price increase, effective on 1 July, for its TiO2 sold in North America.
Like other TiO2 producers that have announced surcharges and price increases in recent weeks, Kronos said its efforts are designed to offset escalating energy, freight and raw materials costs.
A total of 17 cents/lb in US price initiatives have been proposed by producers since mid-summer 2007. None of those had succeeded, however, except for a 2-3 cent/lb hike gained in late 2007 from the smaller plastics-compounding segment of TiO2 consumers.
While some sellers say they are still in pursuit of 6 cents/lb from October and another 6 cents/lb from January, buyers who said they are beginning to take increases of 2-3 cents/lb said they are responding only to the most recent price initiatives.
US contract prices for TiO2 have remained flat for most of the past year at 98-108 cents/lb, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Other US TiO2 producers include Cristal Global - Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, Tronox and Huntsman.
($1 = €0.64)
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