TiO2 market set for modest price increases in 2014: analyst

01 November 2013 17:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--While recent titanium dioxide (TiO2) price increase nominations for the first quarter of 2014 have not found much traction, the stage is set for modest price increases mid-to-late next year, an analyst at Deutsche Bank said on Friday.

Weak industry operating rates in the low-to-mid 80% range and subdued global demand have made the recent price nominations difficult to stick, David Begleiter said in analyst note from the global investment bank.

In October, producers Huntsman nominated a 6-cent/lb ($132/tonne, €98/tonne) increase, while DuPont and Kronos each put forth 5-cent/lb nominations.

Begleiter did say that destocking has “run its course”, noting that TiO2 volumes were up 20-25% year over year in the third quarter and that inventory levels “have dropped to a more normal 60 days versus 100 days” as they were in the first half of 2013.

“We believe [the recent nominations] have served to help stabilise the market, mark a trough for the industry and set the stage for modest price increases in mid-to-late 2014,” the analyst said.

Currently, the US contract range for TiO2 is $1.55-1.70/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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