According to the data given by Chinese customs, in January 2020, China’s titanium dioxide imports hit 9,200 tonnes, a decrease of 26.18% compared to one year prior, and a decrease of 46.57% compared to one month prior. During February 2020, China’s titanium dioxide imports reached around 100,000 tonnes, an increase of 115.90% compared to one year prior, and an increase of 95.28% compared to one month prior. The total accumulative mass of titanium dioxide imports from January to February 2020 in China was 27,100 tonnes, which was a growth of 31% compared to the same period last year. China imports titanium dioxide mainly from Taiwan, Mexico, and Australia. 25% of the total imported titanium dioxide is from Taiwan, 24% is from Mexico, and 18% is from Australia.
China’s imports of titanium dioxide have seen a decreasing trend since 2017. According to the data released by China’s customs, in 2019, China imported a total of 167,108 tonnes of titanium dioxide, which was a decrease of 15.4% compared to the same period in 2018. However, China’s import volume of titanium dioxide was 17,900 tonnes in February 2020, an increase of 115.90% compared to the same period in 2019. This indicates that China’s imports of titanium dioxide have started to rise again.
In terms of titanium dioxide exports, in January 2020, China exported approximately 103,400 tonnes of titanium dioxide to other countries, which is an increase of 47.81% compared to one year prior, and an increase of 2.58% compared to one month prior. During February 2020, China exported about 71,200 tonnes of titanium dioxide to other countries, a rise of 10.22% compared to a year prior and a decrease of 31.08% compared to a month prior. During January and February of 2020, the total cumulative volume of China’s titanium dioxide exports to other countries was 174,600 tonnes, an increase of 30% compared to the same period in 2019.
During January and February 2020, China exported titanium dioxide mainly to India, Brazil, and Korea, among which the titanium dioxide exported to India, Brazil, and Korea accounted for 13%, 9%, and 5% of China’s total titanium dioxide exports, respectively. As the COVID-19 epidemic spreads globally, China’s exports of titanium dioxide are predicted to drop during 2020.
China’s titanium dioxide industry reaches 65 years, expected to grow further
The establishment of the titanium dioxide industry in China started in 1955. With many years of development in the titanium dioxide industry, the overall capacity utilization of titanium dioxide production in China has consistently reached a high level. According to a statistic from the National Chemical Industry Productive Forces Promotion Center Titanium Dioxide Branch, in 2018, the titanium dioxide industry in China reached 3.4 million tonnes, with 2.95 million tonnes of overall capacity utilization.
Chinese titanium dioxide to be used extensively throughout worldwide industries
With the increase in capacity utilization, the international status of the Chinese titanium dioxide industry is forging upward. In 2002, the overall capacity utilization of Chinese titanium dioxide was 390,000 tonnes, which surpassed Japan and ranked second globally. In 2023, the annual production of titanium dioxide in China is expected to reach 3,565,000 tonnes, accounting for more than 45% of the total annual production of titanium dioxide in the whole world.
Titanium dioxide is widely used in coatings, plastics, papermaking, printing inks, rubber, chemical fibers, porcelain, cosmetics, food, medicines, electronic industrial products, micro electro-mechanical systems, as well as environmental industrial products. It is estimated that in 2023, the demand for titanium dioxide will reach 3,216,000 tonnes, and the demand for titanium dioxide in China will increase more than 30% in the coming five years.
For more information on China’s TiO2 market, please check our Titanium Dioxide China Monthly Report.