Upswing in titanium dioxide prices slowing down
Once again, titanium dioxide producers had only partial success in implementing the mark-ups announced for first-quarter deliveries in Europe given improving supply on the whole.
The ongoing production stoppage at a plant in the British town of Stallingborough run by the world’s second largest titanium dioxide producer Cristal Global has hardly had any impact on supply over the past few weeks. The shutdown of the plant, which has a designed capacity of around 150,000 tonnes per year and was idled in early November following damage to a pipe, was easily offset by other titanium dioxide manufacturers making additional deliveries.
Producers are planning to charge more again in the second quarter. They are mainly justifying their plans by underscoring the sharp jump in prices for the rutile and ilmenite ores used in the production of titanium dioxide. New ore prices were typically set in stone for just the first quarter after long-term contracts expired at the end of 2011. Consequently, insiders expected prices to edge higher again over the coming months amid sustained supply problems.