30 August 2010 23:18 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US producers Tronox and DuPont plan to raise titanium dioxide (TiO2) prices, effective on 1 September, becoming the latest companies to propose increases, the companies said on Monday.
Tronox targeted Asia, and DuPont intends to raise prices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the companies said.
Producers have cited tight supply and rising demand as the rationale behind ongoing price hikes, which recently included global price increases proposed by Huntsman for 1 September and by Cristal for 15 September.
In its latest proposal, Tronox seeks an increase of $175/tonne (€137/tonne) in the Asia Pacific region, a move that follows the company’s plan to raise Latin American prices by $200/tonne, also effective on 1 September.
DuPont proposed increases of €175/tonne in the euro markets of western and central Europe and northern Africa. It also plans to raise prices by $200/tonne in the US dollar markets of western and central Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
Tronox announced a similar June increase in several foreign markets and is pursuing hikes for September in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
TiO2 is a white pigment used in products such as paints, coatings, plastics, paper, inks, fibres and cosmetics.
While sources largely agreed that global supply is tight, sources have differed on demand levels in Latin America.
A major buyer in that region said recently that the market was essentially balanced and that price pressure beyond the fourth quarter of this year was not justified.
However, other sources said that among developing regions, where demand has remained particularly strong, Latin America has seen continued growth, particularly in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Some producers have attributed that region’s demand strength, in part, to stable currencies and low inflation rates.
Another US-based global TiO2 producer recently predicted that 70-80% of near-term global demand growth would come from Asia, Europe and developing economies.
US TiO2 suppliers include Cristal, Huntsman, Kronos, Tronox and DuPont.
($1 = €0.78)
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