02 August 2008 00:22 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Dupont's announced price increase of $150/tonne (€96/tonne) for all grades of titanium oxide (TiO2) sold in Latin America may be a harbinger of more aggressive price efforts to come, a buyer said on Friday.
DuPont Titanium Technologies, the world's largest maker of TiO2 pigments, announced the increase Friday, citing unprecedented energy, transportation and raw materials costs. The hike was announced effective on Friday.
The affected grades include those used in coatings, plastics, paper and laminate applications, the company said in a statement.
A large TiO2 buyer said he was not surprised by the latest price initiative and said DuPont "will probably get a fair portion of it".
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Additionally, he said, the sellers have stopped "undercutting each other - taking cheaper volumes when they could accept 1-2 cents/lb less than their nearest competitor".
Sellers have already begun to ramp up their resolve and the market could see some significant increases beginning in October through year's end, the buyer said.
"The switching leverage buyers once had has gone away," he added.
Currently, however, most producers are seeking a total of 11 cents/lb ($243/tonne) in hikes for June and July, and most gained only 3 cents/lb in June from previous announcements.
Contract prices for North American TiO2 are 108-111 cents/lb, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Other US TiO2 producers include Cristal Global, Tronos, Kronos and Huntsman.
($1 = €0.64)
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