By March most companies had submitted their end of year accounts with differing forecasts for the year ahead. While a producer is unlikely to emphasise a fall in sales or volume, most seen so far have been relatively bullish when mentioning prices.
News out of China showed how quickly the market can change. In the space of one week the rare earths market forecast was bearish, then stable, then bullish Ð and this all from one company.
What is clear is that despite economic uncertainty elsewhere, in minerals markets there are still good times ahead.
Several leading producers of titanium dioxide (TiO2) have announced price increases of over $200/tonne. This month Kronos Worldwide posted impressive 2011 results, underlining increases in sales revenue.
Even with reduced sales volumes, we implemented significant TiO2 selling price increases in 2011, including in the fourth quarter, and set a new record for TiO2...