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.
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)
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