20 March 2013 13:32 [Source: ICIS news]
NUREMBERG (ICIS)--Titanium dioxide (TiO2) buyers are not as anxious to secure volumes at this year's European Coatings Congress and Show as they were two years ago when the market was tight, a major producer told ICIS on Wednesday.
"In 2011 our stand was heaving with desperate customers anxious to secure volumes, [but] now this is not the case, it is much quieter as the market is well supplied," the producer said from the sidelines of the event in Nuremburg.
The TiO2 market went through major changes in 2011 as production was cut back and feedstock costs skyrocketed, making the market tight and prices high.
This changed in 2012, however, as demand dropped sharply on weaker demand from the downstream construction, coatings, automotive, paper and plastics industries.
This led to increased length in supply, and producers accumulated enough stock that they could supply the market for 80-90 days – approximately double the usual amount they hold in storage.
"I think we will see growth in 2013 compared with 2012, but only because 2012 was so poor," the producer said. "Customer inventories are nearly depleted now so they are going to need to buy more TiO2 during 2013.”
A second producer said with sales increasing its stocks have been falling at a steady pace since the end of January.
"This has been our best first quarter in a long time, as demand globally is picking up," the second producer said. "What we are looking at now is increasing prices [in April].”
The congress runs from 18-19 March and the show from 19-21 March.
($1 = €0.78)
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