Further price increase in North American TiO2 market anticipated in coming weeks; domestic TiO2 contract prices for Q1 at US$1.50/lb.-US$1.65/lb.
LONDON , April 25, 2014 (ICIS Chemical Business (CBNB Abstracts)) – Further price increase in the North American titanium dioxide (TiO2) market is anticipated in the next few weeks. Some companies intend to implement a price hike, such as Kronos, which announced that it was pushing for an 8 cent/lb ($176/tonne) increase effective on 1 Mar, to be implemented on Jun 1 if approved. According to some sources, sufficient pigment inventories and incremental demand improvement argued for weakness during 1Q. Based on ICIS assessment, the domestic TiO2 contract prices are at $1.50-1.65/lb in 1Q. Recent price hikes were implemented to avoid price erosion, some sources said. Demand for paint is likely to weaken due to winter weather. Downstream signals are mixed. The Commerce Department recently reported that US sales of new single-family homes has dropped by 3.3% in Feb from Jan. Feb 2014's selling rate was 1.1% lower compared to that of Feb 2013. This partly offsets the 9.6% gain in Jan, which had ended two months of declines, including a 7% drop in Dec.