14 April 2009 10:59 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian titanium dioxide (TiO2) term prices for the second quarter have fallen $100-300/tonne (€75-225/tonne) due to sluggish demand and ample supplies, producers said on Tuesday.
Though cargoes were rumoured to be available at much lower levels, second-quarter prices were mostly pegged at $2,200-2,400/tonne CFR (cost and freight) ?xml:namespace>
Producers had been facing mounting pressure from buyers to lower prices since the start of the year but said they were mostly able to achieve roll-over prices for the first quarter.
Persistently poor demand and high inventory levels have since broken down producers’ resistance, sources said.
TiO2 is used in the coatings, papers, and plastics sectors, all of which had been hard-hit by the ongoing global economic woes. Monthly TiO2 imports into
Producers in financial distress were also heard to be eager to liquidate their cargoes in the spot market, resulting in competitive offers and strong downward pressure on prices.
Signs of such “de-stocking” were still visible in the market, which industry sources said indicated the high inventory levels sellers currently faced.
Producers however have been cutting operating rates since the start of the year while demand has showed signs of picking up in recent weeks. These developments should at least slow down the decline in TiO2 prices, market sources said.
($1 = €0.75)
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