The big players in the global titanium dioxide market (TiO2) have risen the prices again at the end of February. This trend supports the positive development of the industry and gives a sign for the coming peak season of TiO2, as well does the proposed acquisition of Cristal by Tronox.
Three of the four big western players in the TiO2 business have raised their prices on March 1. China’s tiO2 manufacturers already raised the quotations at the end of February, due to the positive development of the market and the preparation for the coming peak season of TiO2.
Lomon Billions, by far the biggest manufacturer for tiO2 in China and one of the biggest manufacturers worldwide has raised the prices of all types of TiO2 on February 20, according to CCM. Lomon Billions is the new company merged of Henan Billions and Sichuan Lomon, the two biggest companies in China before. Hence, Lomon Billions has the strongest influence on the price trend in China and many manufacturers are likely following its raises. The company has risen the prices for domestic buyers by USD102.11/t and for overseas purchasers by USD100/t.
Other mentionable companies, which raised their prices in late February, were Shandong Doguide on February 20 and Dawn Titanium Industry on February 21. Shandong Doguide raised the price of rutile TiO2 by USD72.93/t and the one for overseas clients by an amount of USD80/t. Dawn Titanium showed the largest price rise of Chinese manufacturers with an increase of USD116.69/t for the domestic buyers and USD100/t for the overseas clients.
The Chemours Company has increased the price of its Ti-Pure TiO2 for the relevant clients in North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The price rise for the Asian pacific clients has been stated as USD150/t, according to CCM.
Huntsman has only risen the prices for North American clients on March 01 by USD154/t. However, the company announced price rises forth the other countries for April 1. It is notably here, that the price of TiO2 for Asian clients will only increase by USD160/t, while the price rises for the other regions will be much higher, namely USD250/t.
Finally, Cristal Global raised the prices in different degrees for different regions for its Tiona and Tikon TiO2. That includes a price rise by USD200/t for Asian Pacific clients, a lower increase of USD154/t for buyers from North America, and the highest price rise hits Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East with an amount of USD225/t.
Nevertheless, there is some bigger news with Cristal Global nowadays. The company, which is owned by 79% by the Saudi Arabia-based Tasnee and 20% by the Gulf Investment Corporation, has announced to merge its subsidiary National Titanium Dioxide Company with Tronox limited. This would create the largest TiO2 manufacturer worldwide, in terms of sales and production capacity. According to the deal, the Cristal owners would get 24% share of the newly merged company, while the shareholders of Tronox look at 76% of share.
The whole deal is worth about USD1.673 billion, according to Business Standard. The newly merged company will have 11 plants in eight countries worldwide, able to produce 1.3 million metric tonnes of TiO2 pigment.
Market intelligence firm CCM believes, that the current price rising represents the trend to a positive development of the TiO2 industry. The price is likely to continue remaining high in the short run, with a beneficial backup of the supply-side reform in China.
China’s supply and demand balance of TiO2 was fairly balanced in 2016, looking at a supply of 2.6 million tonnes and demand of 2.48 million tonnes. The trend to a more balanced TiO2 market is due to the supply-side reform under which guidance an amount of 260,000 tonnes per year of outdated capacity has been eliminated. Since the reform, which was implemented two years ago, is still going on, the further output of outdated TiO2 capacity is expected to be eliminated, which will balance out the sheet once more and supports a strong price development for titanium dioxide in China.
Another factor supporting a sustainable price rise is the higher concentration in China’s TiO2 market. As mentioned before, Henan Billions has acquired Sichuan Lomon at the end of 2016, which made the new enterprise Lomon Billions become the biggest manufacturer of TiO2 in China with a huge influence on the industry trend. The combined capacity of China’s former two biggest producers is now 560,000 tonnes per year. More companies in China are looking at the power of Lomon Billions with sorrows, which drives them to expand their capacities as well. With the newly gained market share, they will be able to weaken the monopolistic position of Lomon Billions to some extent, but also enhance the concentration of China’s TiO2 industry even more.
CCM is the leading market intelligence provider for China’s agriculture, chemicals, food & ingredients and life science markets.
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