Is the market finally about to ease off?
Titanium dioxide, glycerine and fumed silica
Normalization of the supply situation for titanium dioxide
The supply situation for titanium dioxide has returned to normal over the last few months. All types of titanium dioxide are now available at short notice.
Warnings of shortages prompted consumers to cover themselves with sufficient stocks for the current year during the first quarter of 2018, and following on from this demand over the subsequent months remained at a balanced level. In light of the good availability and the moderate demand, manufacturers have revised their prices downwards.
The discussion surrounding the categorization of the white pigment titanium dioxide within the context of hazardous substances legislation remains ongoing. Resistance to the categorization procedure has gained momentum and is now evident throughout Europe. To the best of our knowledge, there is no scientific reason to justify this categorization. Up to 90 percent of paints and varnishes on the market would be affected, representing almost 2 million tons worth virtually 6 billion euros.
Due to extreme supply difficulties for type Aerosil R 972, orders of fumed silica are currently subject to longer delivery times, which may amount to as much as 4-6 weeks.
From what our suppliers say, we cannot expect to see a change in the current supply situation before mid-2019.
Glycerine: Sustainability and decreases in price
After the prices for glycerine have stabilized in general over the last few months, there is a clear price reduction at the end of the year. Prices will remain on this level for the beginning of 2019 as well. We think the prices might rise again in the second or third quarter of 2019.
The market trend for glycerine currently continues towards palm-oil-free and sustainability-certified goods. The demand for rapeseed-based and RSPO MB goods has increased and will continue to grow in the future. In general, the rapeseed harvest was not profitable this year in Europe, which may lead to increases in price and possible shortages of rapeseed-based glycerine. However, we are currently in contact with suppliers that can offer high flexibility and reliability during the upcoming market situation.
Since the beginning of the year, we have included monoisopropanolamine (MIPA) in our portfolio. This belongs to the alkanolamine family, and thanks to its alkalinity is used in a wide variety of industries as a neutralizing agent. Most significantly, MIPA is extremely suitable for the production of cleaning products and cooling lubricants as it regulates the PH value and also provides passive corrosion prevention. In cosmetic products too, MIPA is sometimes used to adjust and stabilize the PH value.