LONDON (ICIS)--Some buyers in the European titanium dioxide (TiO2) market are anticipating moving to different sources of high-grade TiO2 as a result of price increases from producers for the third quarter, sources said on Monday.
One buyer said that it had seen price increases of €30/tonne from two major producers. “We are actively looking for Chinese and Eastern European material because we see a market which has bottomed out and producers are trying to increase [prices] again,” it said.
“There are new grades coming out of China… [European producers] might potentially lose material,” the buyer added.
Another buyer said: “The Chinese are improving; their exports [will] match qualities in Europe. [There are] also some projects with chloride grades, which will change the industry in future”
It added: “I think with most people the prices of sulphate grades coming out of China are cheaper.”
However, a producer suggested the price increase announcements for the third quarter were necessary since the industry cannot survive at the current price.
It also expressed scepticism about the quality of Chinese and Eastern European products, saying: “Quality wise we have our doubts, and consistency is in question.”
It added: “I doubt the Chinese can survive at the prices they are offering. I’m not sure they can make any profits at this price.”
Third-quarter pricing negotiations are ongoing.
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