28 February 2013 23:23 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Cristal is seeking a 10 cent/lb ($220/tonne, €167/tonne) price increase, effective on 1 April, for its pigment sold in North America, but sources on Thursday remained sceptical about the initiative’s odds of success.
With 90-day price protection common in the domestic market, even a successful effort would not see price gains implemented until 1 July.
The initiative is the first to surface for the third quarter, and only two North American producers – Kronos and Huntsman – have announced Q2 price-hike initiatives thus far, each for 10 cents/lb.
Cristal also announced plans to increase prices, effective on 1 April, in other regions, including hikes of €200/tonne in eastern and western Europe and $300/tonne in Latin America, Russia, European dollar markets, in most Asian markets, the Middle East and Africa.
Although North American first-quarter contract values are said to have dropped by about 10 cents/lb, prices remained at the fourth-quarter level of $1.55-1.70/lb, as assessed by ICIS, pending further confirmation.
Delayed US spring paint and coatings demand and ample supply have pressured TiO2 prices downward for several quarters.
Other North American TiO2 producers include DuPont and Tronox.
($1 = €0.76)
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