SINGAPORE(ICIS)--Asia’s titanium dioxide (TiO2) contract prices for March and the first quarter were mostly settled at $2,650-3,000/tonne, market sources said on Friday.
The contract prices on a cost-and-freight (CFR) Asia basis represent a roll-over from February and fourth-quarter 2013 prices.
Buyers in the painting and plastic sectors said competitively priced materials are scarce, with most getting a rolled-over or slightly lower prices, depending on quantities negotiated.
No upward pressure on prices is expected at least until the third quarter, when demand is expected to pick up for the painting, ink, coating and plastic sectors because of improved weather, market sources said.
Market sentiment is generally weak, dashing producers’ hope of hiking prices to recoup losses amid high fixed costs.
Economic uncertainties, along with recent political developments, in the markets of Indonesia, India and Thailand are also dampening buying interest, market sources said.
TiO2 producers are looking forward to the second half of the year, when a seasonal pick-up in demand should support prices.