Titanium dioxide Prices, markets & analysis
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Titanium dioxide Overview Transcript
Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring oxide of titanium it’s typically called by it’s chemical formula which is TiO2. When used as a pigment it is called Titanium White or Pigment White 6.
TiO2 is mainly used as a white powder pigment because of its brightness and high refractive index. It is used in paints and coatings and also glazes and enamels, plastics, paper, inks, fibres, food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
TiO2 is also resistant to discolouration under ultra violet light and is used in plastics and sun screens
Another growing outlet is as a photocatalyst where it is used in applications such as light emitting diodes, liquid crystal displays, and electrodes for plasma displays.
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Titanium dioxide: Market overview
North American titanium dioxide (TiO2) market supply will be ample during the first quarter of 2014, and pricing power will remain elusive for major pigment producers during that period.
Given excess supply stemming largely from the belated and weak 2013 coatings season and the typical Q4 slowdown from the architectural coatings sector, demand will take longer than usual to gear up, and with it the ability of producers to get price increases until at least until the second quarter. Some sources suggested it could take even longer.
Most sources anticipate domestic TiO2 market growth will track estimated 2014 GDP of 2.8%. On the housing front, US new-home construction increased by nearly 23% in November from October, according to the US Department of Commerce, helping underpin hopes for next spring. US prices were largely flat for 2013.
Although there is plenty of supply for Q1, inventories had begun to diminish slowly as buyers anticipate an improved spring coatings season in 2014, barring the storms and inclement weather that delayed demand for much of 2013.
The European TiO2 first-quarter outlook is flat with market supply to remain long. Attractive European imports have led buyers to secure favourable first-quarter contract prices both domestically and from deep sea sellers.
Buyers expect producers to attempt price increases before the coatings peak season gets under way. Therefore, some sources forecast February to be a pivotal month in assessing market conditions before second-quarter contract price negotiations commence.
Trading activities from January-February are expected to be slow-moving in certain parts of Asia, especially in China, because of Lunar New Year celebrations.
Additionally, a strengthened US dollar and uncertainty about economic outlooks for Thailand, Indonesia and India because of general elections will lead to cautious TiO2 outlooks for 2014 in Asia.
Updated to mid-January 2014
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Titanium Dioxide Methodology
About Titanium dioxide
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) occurs as odourless, colourless to white crystalline powder in two forms, anatase and rutile. Titanium dioxide is not flammable, explosive and gives no reason to fire risks.
The main use of TiO2 is as a white powder pigment used in products such as paints, coatings, plastics, paper, inks, fibres, food and cosmetics. Titanium dioxide also has good ultraviolet (UV) light resistance properties and is seeing growing demand in photocatalysts.
It is used in products such as paints and coatings, including glazes and enamels, plastics, paper, inks, fibres, foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In particular, high performance grades of TiO2 are finding a growing market in the cosmetics sector and most toothpastes use TiO2.
Titanium dioxide is produced from either ilmenite, rutile or titanium slag. Titanium pigment is extracted by using either sulphuric acid (sulphate process) or chlorine (chloride route). The sulphate process employs simpler technology while the chloride route produces a purer product.