TiO2: Kronos profits surge on higher TiO2 prices, sales

Published: Friday, 09 June 2017

Improved results; TiO2 prices up 17%; Demand on the rise

Kronos Worldwide reported rising profits on May 8, citing "higher average TiO2 selling prices and higher sales volumes". 

Profit at the US-based company’s TiO2 segment surged to $56.5m over the first quarter of 2017, compared to just $3.8m a year earlier.

The increase was driven by rising prices, which were up 17% over the period, supporting segment sales.

Sales volumes of TiO2 were reported at 143,000 tonnes over the quarter, compared to 138,000 tonnes a year ago.

Kronos’ production was also up, rising by some 14,000 tonnes to 145,000 tonnes.

"We operated our production facilities at an overall average capacity utilisation rate of 100% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to approximately 97% in the first quarter of 2016," Kronos said.

Profits were also boosted by lower raw materials costs, but currency fluctuations trimmed gains.

Across the whole company, Kronos reported net-sales of $369.8m in the first quarter of 2017, up 16% year on year.

Profits surged to $36.8m, compared to a loss of $3.8m a year ago.

Kronos is the latest titanium dioxide seller to report improving financials. 

Tronox last week reported that its titanium segment swing from loss to profit in the first quarter, thanks to rising sales.

Titanium dioxide prices

TiO 2 pigment prices have hit multi-year highs in recent weeks in China, Europe and the US.

IM’s spot price for pigment-grade titanium dioxide in Northern Europe rose to €2,765-3,190/tonne 11 May up from €2,150-2,575/tonne previously while spot prices for bulk volume TiO2 pigment rose to a two-year high of $2,720-3,100/tonne  [basis CFR Asia] 11 May.