Chinese TiO2 producer Lomon Billions expects prices of the
pigment to increase further despite a recent drop in domestic
ilmenite prices, while demand continues to grow both internally
and in export markets.
In a recent statement to investors addressing questions from
securities companies, Qingfei Shen, secretary of the board at
Lomon, stated that the demand, supply and price scenario in the
TiO2 market is currently stable, following a steady increase
over the past year.
Although there was some fluctuation during the rainy season
which has led to domestic ilmenite prices to fall, the export
market is performing well: prices are stable and orders are on
Outside China, Cristal, Huntsman and Chemours announced
price increases for June and July, creating a pricing edge for
domestic TiO2 over international material.
China’s TiO2 exports between January and April
increased 15% year-on-year, which Lomon said was more than
Commenting on the recent ilmenite price drop seen in June on
the domestic market, Shen said it is unlikely that it will
prompt a drop in TiO2 prices, because the reduction has so far
Ilmenite prices previously surged in a short space of time,
between April and May, due to widespread environmental
inspections taking place in Sichuan. At that time, buyers
bought a lot to prepare against a tightening in supply, so it
is comprehensible that prices are now falling after that
In addition, now the inventory is low because most of the large
producers are fully booked for the next two months –
which is also supporting prices.
Future price upticks
Shen said that the company has sufficient orders booked
until August, although downstream industries might be affected
by the rainy season, after which purchases may return to
normal. At that point, there is a chance prices could rise
further, he added.
Furthermore, downstream demand is growing in both domestic and
foreign markets, especially in developing destinations such as
India, Brazil, South-east Asian and Middle Eastern
European demand is also on the up, especially after the fire
accident at Huntsman’s facility, which tightened
TiO2 supply for ink applications.
Regarding Lomon’s chloride route TiO2 product,
Shen said that both quality and output are growing, and that
the company remains focused on increasing its share in the
chloride route space.