22 July 2010 16:41 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Kronos’ proposed €200/tonne ($256/tonne) hike for all titanium dioxide (TiO2) sold in Europe, effective 1 September, was excessive, buyers said on Thursday.
“Impossible. Out of the question. No way,” stated one adamant customer.
However, a source at Kronos said it would be implementing the one-step increase as the market was still tight due to limited availability and strong demand, which showed no signs of slowing down this year.
Other European producers agreed with this assessment, with one stating that it may raise prices in August and that the increases may be a continuous process until the first quarter of 2011.
Buyers, however, felt that the downstream paints and coatings season would be coming to an end in September, and Cristal Global’s 150,000 tonne/year Stallingborough, UK, plant should be back at full capacity by then also after partially lifting force majeure last week.
“If they want to raise prices they should do it now, September will be too late,” a consumer commented.
Customers did admit that the current supply situation was dire, but thought a €200/tonne spike in values would be too much given the €270-300/tonne increases already seen this year.
“€200/tonne is obviously a big increase but buyers should look at the prices they were paying a few years ago. They (prices) are rising rapidly but they are coming from low levels,” countered the Kronos source.
TiO2 values were currently pegged at €2,400-2,600/tonne, according to ICIS, but this figure may be subject to a non-market, downward price adjustment in the near future.
($1 = €0.78)
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