12 October 2012 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European titanium dioxide (TiO2) prices have dropped by €0.10/kg because of falling demand and long supply, sources said on Friday.
Since the end of April, prices have fallen by €0.35-0.55/kg as a result of poor demand. Sales are traditionally the strongest during the second and third quarters of 2012, but this year the industry performed well below expectations because of the eurozone debt crisis and the subsequent macroeconomic downturn.
"Everyone is trying to sell now and the market is very long as downstream markets are not performing well," a TiO2 buyer said.
High quality TiO2 is offered at €2.75-2.85/kg ($3.57-3.70/kg) free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE), while lower grade material is at €2.50-2.60/kg FD NWE.
Cheaper TiO2 is mostly offered from eastern European producers and from western European traders. However, some buyers said they can get higher quality material as well at €2.54-2.65/kg FD NWE on the spot market.
As a result of weak demand, operating rates have been reduced to about 75% of nameplate capacity across Europe to balance supply with offtake.
It is likely that raw material contract prices will drop in January, which could result in further TiO2 price falls, sources said.
($1 = €0.77)
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