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The Price Rise of Titanium Dioxide: Who Made You Crazy?

Currently, over 70% of titanium dioxide powder in coatings is used for the production of latex paint. Titanium dioxide plays two important roles in latex paint: covering power and whiteness. As an important chemical raw material, titanium dioxide is still essential for many coating manufacturers. In the past market, the fluctuation of titanium dioxide price was relatively reasonable. But after 2016, the market began to become chaotic.

As of May, many titanium dioxide manufacturers continue to announce price increases. For example, on May 2, Yunnan Datacom Titanium Industry also announced that its Rutile series products would increase by 700 yuan/ton, and its anatase series products would increase by 500 yuan/ton; In addition, Panzhihua Haifengxin Chemical Co., Ltd. and Yunnan Metallurgical Xinli Titanium Industry Co., Ltd. have also raised the price of their Rutile series products by 700 yuan/ton. On the other hand, Jiangsu Zhenti Chemical Co., Ltd. issued a notice of price adjustment on the same day, claiming that the price of titanium dioxide of the company would be increased due to the rise in the price of raw materials: the domestic price of Rutile products rose by 700 yuan/ton, and the foreign price rose by 100 dollars/ton.

It can be said that the wave of titanium dioxide rising and rising since the beginning of 2019 is still ongoing. Looking back on this seemingly long and inexplicable beginning of the titanium dioxide price surge, in fact, just over a year ago, the pessimistic atmosphere pervaded the titanium dioxide market in China and even globally. At the end of 2018, titanium dioxide powder in China had already dropped below 10000 yuan/ton. However, starting from March 2019, many titanium dioxide companies changed their previous strategy of seizing the market at low prices and coincidentally began to increase their prices. Many titanium dioxide suppliers have stated that the reason for this round of price increase is “insufficient supply due to environmental issues”. According to relevant national institutions, the total production of titanium dioxide by 39 enterprises in 2019 was 2.6 million tons, an increase of 275000 tons or 11.8% compared to the 2.32 million tons in 2015, reaching a new historical high.

That is to say, in 2016, the supply of titanium dioxide in the Chinese market actually increased significantly. The continuous rise and fall of titanium dioxide powder also reflects a state of helplessness among downstream customers. After all, as an important chemical raw material, titanium dioxide is still essential for many coating manufacturers.

Titanium dioxide plays two important roles in latex paint: covering power and whiteness. From the perspective of whiteness, a significant portion of the interior and exterior wall coatings are no longer white, so whiteness is not as important; From the perspective of hiding power, there are also many methods that can achieve very good hiding power, such as calcining kaolin, or using certain sheet-like fillers and hollow spherical resins. In addition, silica fume and titanium dioxide have structural similarities and can also partially replace titanium dioxide. Therefore, the important position of titanium dioxide is not a ‘peace of mind’, and if prices continue to rise blindly, no one may be able to say what will happen next.

In fact, price fluctuations that do not conform to market rules can change the direction of industry development. Titanium dioxide as an important and difficult to replace

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