Price hikes in third-quarter deliveries are motivated by continuing increase in titanium dioxide and eucalyptus pulp prices, say industry representatives.
Decor paper manufacturers are seeking to institute additional mark-ups in talks that are set to get under way in June for third-quarter deliveries. These new hikes will come on the heels of minor price adjustments in the first quarter of 2017 and bigger hikes in April or May.
Decor paper producers explained that the upward trend in costs for titanium dioxide (TiO2) and eucalyptus pulp has intensified. The supply situation has reportedly also become more challenging in both markets. Sourcing extra amounts of titanium dioxide was virtually out of the question. Global availability of eucalyptus pulp has also deteriorated, market sources said.
Upward price trend in TiO2 prices set to continue
Following a substantial price increase in the second quarter 2017, titanium dioxide (TiO2) producers are asking for a new price hike in third quarter deliveries. On 8 May, Huntsman Corporation's Pigments and Additives division, now known as Venator, announced a price increases of €250/t for all its titanium dioxide pigments sold to the market in Europe as of 1 July. Cristal Global is asking for a price hike of €350/t on the market in Europe, effective 1 July. Other manufacturers have reportedly communicated their asking prices in direct contact with buyers.
The supply situation has not improved on Europe's titanium dioxide market in recent weeks, with exceptional factors still limiting market supply. Titanium dioxide manufacturers and converters TiO2 described demand as still high. Besides the seasonal increase in demand in spring, enquiries about additional amounts placed by a variety of converters since the first quarter are playing a role.
Ence launches new round of price hikes for BEK pulp
Prices for bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) pulp have been moving up on the market in Europe for a couple of months now. As the BEK pulp market Spanish pulp manufacturer Ence has approached the market with another price increase. The company informed its European customers of an increase in BEK pulp prices to $850/metr.t for deliveries from 1 June.
According to Ence, the global market outlook for bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) remains positive with strong demand in all markets. At the same time, annual maintenance stoppages at some mills and technical problems at others are limiting market supply and inventories are continuing to point down.