22 October 2013 17:56 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The global titanium dioxide (TiO2) industry continues to improve, the chief financial officer of TiO2 major DuPont said on Tuesday.
“We are seeing clear signs that this market has stabilised, and we are encouraged by the improving industry fundamentals,“ CFO Nicholas Fanandakis told analysts during DuPont’s third-quarter earnings call.
In the third quarter, DuPont saw its TiO2 volumes increase 25% year on year and 1% sequentially from the second quarter, marking three consecutive quarters of year-on-year and sequential volume growth, Fanandakis said. All regions delivered double digit volume improvements, he added.
Hassan Ahmed, head of research at New York-based equities research firm Alembic Global Advisors, said that DuPont’s third-quarter TiO2 performance signalled that the TiO2 cycle may have bottomed out. Also, DuPont's results "have a positive read" for the upcoming third-quarter reports of TiO2 producers Huntsman and Tronox, Ahmed added.
TiO2 is part of DuPont’s performance chemicals business, for which the company is currently evaluating strategic options.
Earlier on Tuesday, DuPont reported a 38% year-on-year decline in performance chemicals' third-quarter operating earnings, to $254m (€185m), mainly because of lower product prices and higher raw material costs. But despite the decline, the segment performed better than in the second quarter when its operating profit fell 56% year on year.
Performance chemicals’ third-quarter segment sales were down 1% to $1.72bn.
($1 = €0.73)
Additional reporting by Franco Capaldo
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