Titanium dioxide manufacturers are pushing for additional price hikes for deliveries in the first quarter of 2017, due to inflationary pressures associated with raw material costs.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) manufacturers have succeeded in implementing additional mark-ups to TiO2 prices in negotiations about fourth-quarter deliveries. These mark-ups come on the heels of prices hikes already achieved in the second and third quarters of 2016. The fourth-quarter price hike in the rutile pigment segment used in the decor paper industry are said to be similar in magnitude to the past two quarters.
Supply and demand are considered to be at least balanced in Western Europe; manufacturers claim not having enough material on stock and reallocating orders is possible to only a limited degree. This situation is being blamed on better prices in North America and the resulting shifts in volumes and the slump in exports from China. The force majeure declaration at the Ukrainian manufacturer Sumykhimprom and the closure of a facility in South Africa, have reportedly further reduced market supply.
On the raw material side, titanium dioxide producers are facing rising prices for ilmenite and rutile ore again. In view of these higher raw material costs, major TiO2 pigment manufacturers, such as Huntsman Corp., Kronos, Tronox and Crystal have already informed their customers about additional price hikes in the first quarter of 2017.