Cristal plans new TiO2 hike in Latin America amid tight supply

05 January 2011 22:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Global titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Cristal intends to raise prices for its chloride rutile-grade product in Latin America by as much as $200/tonne (€150/tonne) effective 1 February, the company said on Wednesday.

In its announcement, the company stated no rationale for the new price effort, but Cristal’s identical price push in the region for 1 January cited ongoing tight supply.

Similar reasons were cited for a spate of January domestic and regional price-hike announcements from all of the major producers. Few buyers have challenged assertions that the global market has been chronically short of product.

In Latin America, a buyer predicted that the region would have access to adequate supplies by the first quarter of 2011 and that ongoing price efforts would not be justified.

However, Cristal responded to further inquiries Wednesday, saying input costs and its supply constraints – particularly chloride-based TiO2 – warranted the full increase.

North American prices were recently assessed by ICIS at $1.30-1.44/lb, but are expected to rise by 8 cents/lb as price hikes proposed in the fourth quarter of 2010 are fully implemented this month.

Other US TiO2 suppliers include Tronox, Huntsman, DuPont and Kronos.

($1 = €0.75)

For more on TiO2 visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Larry Terry
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