LONDON (ICIS)--Players in the European titanium dioxide (Ti02) market are awaiting developments in the sector in the run-up to fourth-quarter negotiations, with several sources on Friday noting subdued August demand on the back of poor weather and geopolitical tensions.
A couple of players report that demand for coatings in Europe has been lower than average over August, partly as a result of bad weather, which one market participant says has reduced usage in the construction industry and by private individuals.
The coatings industry makes up more than 60% of the total market for TiO2 in Europe.
Another player pointed to the ongoing Israeli-Palestine clashes as having reduced demand in that region over the summer.
There is no lack of availability on the market, although Chinese suppliers have attempted to raise prices for exports to Europe. Players say that this move is intended to match increases announced by European producers in the third quarter of the year.
One market participant said that it expects prices to increase in real terms as a result of the Chinese hikes, and as a result of the euro weakening against the pound and the dollar.
One distributor said that it has seen fewer TiO2 exports from the Ukraine as a result of the tense geopolitical situation in the region. However, it also noted that this has not yet had much effect on availability and prices, due to a relatively small producers being affected, although it said it might cause some shortages in specific areas.
Most participants have not yet developed their pricing ideas for fourth-quarter negotiations, which are expected to begin in late September.
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