Titanium dioxide industry prices still emboldened

Titanium Dioxide is recognized as the best white pigment in the world and is widely used in coatings, plastics, papermaking, printing inks, chemical fiber, rubber, cosmetics and other fields. The coating industry is the largest user of titanium dioxide, especially rutile titanium dioxide, which is consumed by the paint industry.

As of the end of last year, the domestic price of rutile titanium dioxide fell below the key 10,000 yuan/ton. However, this year, the price of titanium dioxide has increased frequently. According to monitoring, from the beginning to the first half of the year, titanium dioxide has experienced continuous rises, and the cumulative increase in prices has exceeded 30%. One of the reasons for price increase is the recovery rebound after the titanium dioxide market continued to weaken.

At present, domestic titanium dioxide market talks about stable prices. As of mid-July, domestic mainstream sulfuric acid rutile titanium dioxide is about 13300-13600 yuan/ton. As a whole, the downstream demand has gradually recovered, traders’ intention to receive goods has gradually increased, and market sentiment has increased with price increases.

First of all, the strong rise in titanium dioxide this year is closely related to “decapacity”. In the most difficult days of titanium dioxide, voluntary and involuntary capacity reduction is the prerequisite for this year's continuous and substantial price increase. Voluntary production capacity comes from operating pressure of the company. Involuntary production capacity mainly arises from problems such as environmental protection and surplus. In addition, the national policy also insists on guiding enterprises. In the future “13th Five-Year Plan” period, the titanium dioxide industry should implement “three reductions, one drop and one supplement,” and go to production capacity, destocking, de-leveraging, cost reduction, and short-suppression boards. Zombie companies" promote the elimination of excess production capacity, so low-end lagging production capacity will be completely withdrawn. If the production capacity is to be implemented, the price of titanium dioxide will become more stable.

Second, the stability of the titanium dioxide market itself, coupled with economic recovery, gave the titanium dioxide ready to meet the confidence of a number of consecutive price surges. For example, in terms of market demand, the real estate and auto industries continue to pick up. At the beginning of 2016, the fiery sales on the sales side brought a substantial rebound in the growth rate of new real estate for start-ups; sales of new energy vehicles rose significantly under the policy stimulus. China Automobile Association expects car sales to increase by 6% in 2016, up 1.3% year-on-year. With the stabilization of the macro economy and the recovery of related industries, the downstream industry’s demand for titanium dioxide has also picked up.

In addition to real estate and automobiles, exports are an important part of the demand for titanium dioxide. According to customs statistics, in May 2016, the total export of titanium dioxide in China was 71,200 tons, which was a month-on-month increase of 27.9% and a year-on-year increase of 50.6%; the export value in May was 110 million US dollars and the average export price was 1,541 US dollars per ton. From January to May 2016, the total export volume totaled 284,600 tons, a year-on-year increase of 24.8%. The major exporters of titanium dioxide in China in May 2016 were: India (12.9%), United States (10.7%) and South Korea (6.7%); the major export provinces were Sichuan (26.8%), Shandong (23.1%) and Henan Province (15.4%).

In summary, the price of titanium dioxide is still in a reasonable scope under the existing policies and market environment, and there will be no major ups and downs due to changes in the future supply and demand, market price increase momentum or willingness from companies, and policy dividends. As far as the current situation is concerned, there is still strength in the price increase in the titanium dioxide industry, and there is still room for it to increase, which remains to be seen.

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