The ICIS titanium dioxide (TiO2) price reports are published weekly as a global report and a CIS report. The global market intelligence gathered by our locally-based reporters, has contract prices for Europe and US and market prices for Asia.
The ICIS report contains price assessments for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Asia and Europe. Market intelligence is shared in the unbiased commentary in the reports and can include, analytics, news, feedstocks moves, regional updates and supply/demand trends. This reliable information can help you to make confident business choices.
Updated to Q1 2020
Availability of Chinese TiO2 exports was curtailed by supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Pangang Group shut its production unit in Chongqing’s Banan district, when it was found that members of staff were infected with the coronavirus. Some producers faced difficulties in securing feedstock ilmenite, also due to coronavirus-related logistical constraints. Export trade was hampered, with some inland producers struggling to arrange transport for their cargoes to coastal ports to be shipped out.
While demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday was subdued, the market was hit with a wave of panic buying in late February owing to logistical constraints and curtailed supply of Chinese exports following the coronavirus outbreak. Buyers sought cargoes urgently and were pressing for suppliers to commit to late February shipments, anticipating that they may face difficulties securing requirements for March should movement restriction measures persist. Potential delays to shipments from China was also a major concern.
Supply was mixed during the quarter. Some suppliers said that inventories were depleted, amid higher-than-expected demand earlier in the quarter, possibly because of Asian import disruption due to the virus outbreak or restocking activity ahead of the spring coatings. Others, however, considered supply to be sufficient for requirements, amid moderate demand.
Demand was also mixed during the quarter, with some reasonable to higher-than-expected demand seen, possibly due to Asian import delays and some increased DIY projects due to stay at home measures. Others, however, talked of moderate to slowing demand in the downstream automotive and construction sectors due to the weak economic climate because of the coronavirus outbreak.
North America titanium dioxide (TiO2) supply was broadly balanced during the first quarter of 2020, holding the quarterly contract flat amid seasonally limited demand early in the period. Inventories were sufficient to meet Q1 demand that gained some momentum in March, and delivery lead times remained broadly at 45-60 days. While there was already upward price pressure from tight ilmenite and rutile ore supply, the coronavirus is also reducing worker availability at some mining operations.
Demand for domestic TIO2 in the fourth quarter of 2019 mostly diminished on typical seasonality, but some latent paint demand emerged in November and early December. That mild surge was attributed to a wet September-October period during which some paint makers often see a final surge of buying interest each year. Year-end delivery times were heard at an average of 30 days or fewer, and some customer inventories varied widely, encompassing as many as 45 days of supply.
We offer the following regional Titanium dioxide analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Titanium dioxide marketplace.
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Titanium Dioxide is a pigment marketed in rutile or anatase crystalline forms. Rutile grade is the main driver, with 90% of the market compared with 10% for anatase grade.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) occurs as odourless, colourless to white crystalline powder in two forms, anatase and rutile. Titanium dioxide is not flammable, explosive and gives no reason to fire risks.
The main use of TiO2 is as a white powder pigment used in products such as paints, coatings, plastics, paper, inks, fibres, food and cosmetics. Titanium dioxide also has good ultraviolet (UV) light resistance properties and is seeing growing demand in photocatalysts.
It is used in products such as paints and coatings, including glazes and enamels, plastics, paper, inks, fibres, foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In particular, high performance grades of TiO2 are finding a growing market in the cosmetics sector and most toothpastes use TiO2.
Titanium dioxide is produced from either ilmenite, rutile or titanium slag. Titanium pigment is extracted by using either sulphuric acid (sulphate process) or chlorine (chloride route). The sulphate process employs simpler technology while the chloride route produces a purer product.
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The near-term North America titanium dioxide (TiO2) landscape will be dotted with signs of change – some anticipated, others perhaps not.
Among the ones to watch: