Sulfate-grade TiO2 prices rise as 2022 begins

Sulfate-grade titanium dioxide prices rose in the week to Thursday January 6, with reports of price increases from Chinese sellers, alongside ongoing expectations of supply decreases in the coming weeks.

Fastmarkets’ assessment of the price of titanium dioxide pigment, sulfate grade, fob China climbed to $3,050-3,400 per tonne on Thursday, up by $50-100 per tonne from $3,000-3,300 per tonne a week earlier.

“The market demand, including both the domestic market and international market, is strong after the [Christmas] holiday,” a seller said.

“The demand from the international market is from end users, but the demand from the domestic market is from traders and distributors who believe the price will continue to increase.”

Supply of titanium dioxide in China is expected to drop in the first quarter, he added, with the approach of the Winter Olympics (February 4-20), alongside issues around freight and production costs.

Zircon prices also rose as 2022 began, with market participants reporting increasing supply tightness.

Fastmarkets’ monthly assessment of the price of zircon, premium grade, 66.5% ZrO2 min, bulk, cif China climbed to $1,970-2,050 per tonne on Thursday, up by $175-195 per tonne from $1,775-1,875 per tonne on December 2.

Fastmarkets’ monthly price assessment of zircon, standard grade, 65.5% ZrO2 min, cif China also rose in the month to Thursday, rising to $1,920-2,000 per tonne, from $1,675-1,800 per tonne previously.

Meanwhile, ilmenite and rutile markets remained stable in the two weeks to Thursday, in thin trading, because some market participants have yet to return after the Christmas break.

Fastmarkets’ assessment of the price of ilmenite concentrate, 47-49% TiO2, cif China remained at $360-400 per tonne on Thursday, having maintained the same level since November 11.

The assessment for rutile concentrate 95% TiO2 min, bulk, cif China remained at $1,450-1,500 per tonne on Thursday, with rutile concentrate 95% TiO2 min, large volumes for pigment, fob Australia holding at $1,400-1,500 per tonne, and rutile concentrate 95% TiO2 min, bagged, fob Australia at $1,450-1,550 per tonne.

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