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Titanum dioxide Asia, Europe & US Transcript
The titanium dioxide (TIO2) report is a global report with prices from Europe, the Americas and Asia. Weekly price assessments are given for delivered northwest Europe (NWE) in Euro per kilogram and then converted into US cents per pound. Delivered North American and cost and freight (CFR) Asia prices are in Dollars per tonne and cents per pound conversions.
Price movements in the report are based on weekly consultations with a cross-section of market participants including producers, distributors and consumers, in particular those in the paints, plastics and paper industries.
The report predominantly covers Rutile grade which forms the basis for price quotations. Anatase grade which is generally cheaper is covered in the text where appropriate.
The commentary covers the developments impacting on supply/demand balances, price movements, production information where applicable, import/export trends and evolution of upstream and downstream markets.
We keep watch on what’s happening in production and track plant outages.
The ICIS report is an excellent resource to provide insight to a very opaque market. Supply issues and new demand trends help buyers and sellers understand price movements and make important decisions.
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Updated to Q1 2016
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) prices in Asia remained at $1,900-2,100/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Asia for the first quarter of 2016. Major global producers had previously attempted to increase offers early in the year, but faced strong resistance from buyers due to weak downstream demand. Market sentiment in the downstream paint and coatings sector remained bearish for most of Q1 owing to weak macroeconomic fundamentals.Persistent oversupply in the region further hindered producers’ attempts at a price hike. In early February, several plants in China scaled down production across the Lunar New Year holidays, helping to ease high inventory pressures faced earlier. The arrival of warmer months in March typically sees an uptick in downstream demand, but 2016 saw demand remain uncharacteristically flat due to a sluggish global economy. Market participants acknowledged that prices at current levels are likely to be unsustainable in the long run, as many producers are currently operating at negative margins.
Updated to Q2 2016
European titanium dioxide (TiO2) contracts mainly firmed for chloride based product in the second quarter, but there was more of a mixed sentiment for sulphate-based TiO2, due to differing degrees of competition and varied supply. Some producers recently announced their plans to raise TiO2 prices by €170-200/tonne in Europe, driven by producers’ underlying need to restore lost profitability, following price erosion seen for more than one year in Europe.
The general feeling among buying and some selling sources is that price rises have been mainly possible for chloride-based TiO2 in particular for the second quarter, because there are some signs that chloride based TiO2 is less available than in previous quarters. For chloride-based TiO2, price increases ranging from €50-150/tonne were heard for the second quarter, with the largest increases typically valid for specialty grade TiO2. However, a rollover was heard from one TiO2 buyer, for chloride-based TiO2 inks grade, but this was not confirmed by others.
There was some talk that price rises had been more difficult to implement for sulphate-based TiO2, especially for standard grade product, because there is more availability for that product type, and there is a greater degree of competition from both domestic and import sources for sulphate-based TiO2. Some buying and reselling sources acknowledged that prices closely around the mid €1,800s/tonne FD gross were still possible for sulphate-based TiO2 for those that had already booked their Q2 business in Europe. Rollovers and more moderate price rises of €20-60/tonne were mentioned in April/May and Q2 for standard sulphate-based TiO2, which is mainly used in the downstream paints and coatings sectors. Larger price rises of €100/tonne were also mentioned by one or two players in the downstream paints and coatings sectors, but this was not widely confirmed as a general trend.
For TiO2 specialty grades such as those used in the downstream plastics sector, some players suggested that there was little difference in price increases in the second quarter, irrespective of sulphate- or chloride-based product. However, some other TiO2 specialty-grade sources said that they saw lower price rises of €50-80/tonne for sulphate-based TiO2 when compared to chloride-based product in the second quarter. Q2 price contract prices assessed at €1.86-2.10/KG (kilogram) FD (free delivered) northwest Europe (NWE), equivalent to €1,860-2,100/tonne FD, which refers to standard TiO2, which is typically used in the downstream paints and coatings sectors.
Updated to Q2 2016
North American titanium dioxide (TiO2) contract prices were assessed moderately higher during the second quarter of 2016 on stronger demand during the US spring paint and coatings season. The increase was the first broad upward price movement in the US market in more than four years.
While ongoing fundamentals including oversupply, competitive imports and less-than-robust demand limited the Q2 price gains, capacity rationalization coupled with at least moderate year-on-year spring demand improvement allowed prices to rise.
Separate Q2 increase initiatives of 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne) fell short in many cases but were fully implemented in others.
Meanwhile, despite the start-up of Chemours new TiO2 plant in Altamira, Mexico, at less than its 200,000 tonne/year capacity, producers intend to build on Q2 momentum and improved fundamentals during Q3, proposing increases of 7-10 cents/lb. Sources said support for at least partial gains in Q3 is continuing to strengthen on reports of some supply constraints stemming from production cutbacks in the first half of the year.
ICIS provides pricing information, news and analysis for all major petrochemical and chemical markets, including Titanium dioxide.
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ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Titanium dioxide. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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