The major suppliers of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments, citing strong economic growth rates and rising demand, recently announced the latest of several price-increase moves taken since the start of the year. Price hikes of 6¢/lb. were announced for the United States, effective Oct. 1, with comparable increases announced for other regions of the world.

DuPont Titanium Technologies, the world's biggest TiO2 producer, also announced price increases of $100/metric ton in Asia Pacific, Mexico and South America; $130/mt in Central America and the Caribbean; 110 euros/mt in Europe; and $150/mt in the Middle East and Africa.

DuPont said the price increases are the result of rising raw-material costs, economic expansions that are driving "very strong global TiO2 demand," high capacity rates, and "reinvestment economics required for capital funding to support industry growth."

Similar statements were issued by other suppliers. "These price increases are necessary to improve margins, which must increase in order to justify future investments in additional capacity and to offset increases in costs," number-two producer Millennium Chemicals said in announcing its price moves. Huntsman Tioxide said the price hikes "reflect both strong global market demand and the significant impact of raw material, energy and freight cost increases."

In the price moves:

  • Millennium Chemicals Inc. announced increases of 6¢/lb. in North America for rutile products (7¢/lb. for Tiona 188) and 5¢/lb. for anatase products; 8¢/lb. (Canadian) for rutile grades in Canada (9¢/lb. for Tiona 188) and 7¢/lb. for anatase grades; 130 euros/mt in Europe for most grades; $150/mt in the Middle East and Africa for all products; $100/mt in Central and South America for all products; $100/mt in Asia for most products; and $100/mt in Australia for all products.

  • Huntsman Tioxide announced increases of 6¢/lb. in the United States (7¢/lb. for anatase and FC5 and TR28 grades); 8¢/lb. in Canada (9¢/lb. for anatase and FC5 and TR28 grades); 130 euros/mt in Europe; $100/mt in Asia; and $150/mt in Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa.

  • Kronos Worldwide Inc. announced increases of 6¢/lb. in the United States and 4¢/lb. (Canadian) in Canada).

  • Kerr-McGee Chemical L.L.C. announced a $100/mt increase in Asia.