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TZMI TiO2 Review: May 2005

Single copy - May 2005

TZMI's TiO2 Review covers the TiO2 pigment industry and its major end-use markets including paint and coatings, plastics, paper and ink. The newsletter provides current and timely market commentary and analysis relevant to understanding the growth and economics of the TiO2 pigment industry. Regular pricing trends are presented, including a focus on raw material costs. In this issue: The major pigment producers have reported mixed financial results for Q1 2005. Whilst most reported that pigment prices had increased, particularly compared to Q1 2004, there were variable reports on sales volumes. Huntsman, Kronos and Lyondell commented that Q1 sales volumes had fallen compared with Q1 2004. In contrast, DuPont, Kerr-McGee and Kemira reported higher sales volumes. It would appear from these results that global sales volumes were most likely to have been static compared to Q1 2004. This outcome was not totally unexpected, due to the anticipated cooling of demand during 2005 after the phenomenal growth experienced in 2004, which saw demand growth increase by approximately 7%. With a portion of this consumption growth probably related to consumers purchasing to restock inventories and buying ahead of expected price increases, demand is expected to show a slowdown in 2005.

Industry insiders are however taking a careful look at certain key global indicators which are showing that the global economy may be starting to slow. Some of the key indicators for the US market are beginning to show some evidence of a slowdown in the US economy but the overall picture remains mixed. Of considerable interest to the current pigment market is the apparent stalling of demand for pigment imports to China. Trade statistics show a 24% decrease in Chinese pigment imports for Q1 2005 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2004. With China being responsible for approximately 1% of global demand growth over the last five years, any downturn in demand in that country is a serious concern to the global pigment industry.

No further price increases have been announced, with producers still currently trying to consolidate price increases that were effective 1 April 2005.

Also in the news, Kerr-McGee continues to move into position to sell its chemical business after finalizing two successful programs to repurchase shares worth over US$4.2 billion.

Newsletter Table of Contents

- News
- People news
- Conferences list
- Pricing trends
- Trade statistics: The Americas
- Financial results