Global Demand for Titanium to Remain Beyond Supply

27 Apr 2011 • by Natalie Aster
Global Demand for Titanium to Remain Beyond Supply

LONDON – Following the economic downturn, the global titanium market tightened considerably as demand recovered while supplies were constricted by plant outages. Forecasts say that global demand for TiO2 is estimated to increase by 2.7% per year up to 2019. Growth will be driven mostly by China which is expected to grow at 5% annually. A lot of potential is also seen in India over the next decade.

Recovering demand from the construction and automotive industries led to an increase in global production of TiO2 pigment. For example, US production of TiO2 pigment increased by 14% last year. China and Australia also contribute to TiO2 pigment production growth. The North American TiO2 supplies are forecast to remain pinched in the near future, keeping prices on an upward trajectory.

Although world production of titanium mineral concentrates was nearly unchanged last years, the production of sponge titanium decreased by 3% in 2010. As a result, several plans were resumed to increase titanium sponge production capacity. Most new investment is focused in China where a 200,000 ton/year plant start-up is projected in 2014. Sponge capacity is also due to rise in Japan, Russia, the United States and Western Australia.

China would remain a significant importer on the world titanium market, particularly for the chloride-based pigment to serve the automotive industry. In 2009 China imported 250,000 tons of chloride pigment. The United States is also heavily reliant on imports of titanium mineral concentrates because domestic consumption of titanium minerals greatly exceeds domestic production.

Analysts predict that current tight supply, unexpectedly good demand and low inventories would underpin TiO2 price gains of as much as 10% in 2011 and 2012.

More information on titanium market may be found in the report Titanium Market Review recently published by The Market Publishers, Ltd.


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