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We offer the following regional Titanium dioxide coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the "Asia, Europe & US" Titanium dioxide marketplace.
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Updated to Q3 2018
Supply of titanium dioxide (TiO2) while not long, in view of reduced operating rates at many Chinese production plants, remains ample. Subdued demand amid the seasonal lull in China has resulted in many Chinese suppliers actively targeting the export market with additional volumes, where margins were more attractive. As a result of the depreciation of the yuan, margins for Chinese producers who exported TiO2 were not eroded significantly, and many were willing to reduce offers in order to export more volumes.
Demand in the third quarter was mostly lacklustre, especially in the paints and coatings sector, amid the seasonal lull for TiO2 pigments. The ongoing monsoon season in many parts of Asia further dampened demand for pigments. While downstream demand was noted to be better year on year, market players say it remains below expectations. On-going trade tensions between China and the US battered the Chinese yuan, resulting in muted demand for TiO2 imports in China.
European titanium dioxide (TiO2) supply has become a well-supplied market during the third quarter. This is linked to ample supply from both western and Chinese sources, along with reduced-to-lower than expected activity during the summer period. Demand typically slows during the summer holiday period. However, there has been talk that activity has been more muted than expected during the third quarter in some cases this year, because of healthy stocks through the value chain and because of the expectation of lower prices.
European TiO2 demand has been slow-to-lower than expected during the third quarter for various reasons. Typically, activity slows during the third quarter, due to a number of player absences during the holiday period. While some players talked of a reduced activity in line with expectations for the time of the year, others referred to lower than expected demand during the third quarter, which they attributed to healthy stock levels on the buy-side and a softer price sentiment.
North American titanium dioxide (TiO2) supply constraints began to ease during the third quarter, but delivery-lead times continued to be heard at about 60 days as supply is likely to lag demand for the foreseeable future, but not at the excessively strained levels seen during the past two years. In the meantime, third-quarter prices were steady also on a lack of broad price-hike initiatives from the major producers.
North America TiO2 buying interest continued to be unseasonably strong well past the usual summer slowdown following peak spring demand during the second quarter. Part of that ongoing buying interest stemmed from residual demand attributed to latter 2017 hurricanes and California wildfires and additional fires within the first half of 2018. While demand is expected to diminish in the fourth quarter, it is expected to remain stronger than the same period of 2017.
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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