Throughout the first quarter of 2023, the Titanium Tetrachloride Prices have demonstrated mixed market sentiments. The average procurement from the downstream construction industries has reduced the market value of Titanium Tetrachloride, and as a result, the prices have remained on the lower end. Rising interest rates, tight monetary conditions, and volatility in input energy material prices have pressured the trade activities of various specialty chemicals, including Titanium Tetrachloride. As per the market participants, the downstream paints and coatings sector inquiries were based on a need-on-demand basis, increasing the supply-side pressure on the existing high inventories. Furthermore, the financial sector worries brought on by the failure of two banks based in the USA have further fumed the market downturn across the domestic region. Thus, the Titanium Tetrachloride market has operated at low levels at Q1-end.
The prices of Titanium Tetrachloride have demonstrated a downward trajectory throughout the first quarter of 2023. The exemption of COVID-19 restriction has fuelled manufacturing activities in the domestic region. The stockpiling of the product amid subdued demand from the downstream paints and coatings sector has weakened the market sentiments, and as a result, the market has operated at low levels. Furthermore, the Spring Festival Holidays in the first half have tightened the labor conditions and transportation and logistics across the nation. However, in February, the production activities speeded up, and the manufacturing purchasing manager index settled in the expansion zone. The demand from the downstream construction sector did not reciprocate, and the manufacturers have had to reduce their quotations in order to stimulate new shipments. In addition, the freight charges were also at the lower end amid decreased demand from the overseas market. Consequently, Titanium Tetrachloride Ex-Tianjin prices were settled at USD 1124 per ton at the end of the first quarter.
In the domestic region of France, the prices of Titanium Tetrachloride have witnessed a volatile trend. The prices have remained at the higher end in the European market amidst continued inflationary pressures and still-high manufacturing costs. The build-up of high-cost inventories has impeded the manufacturers from any price cuts despite the weak demand fundamentals. In addition, the labor strikes for wage issues has been continued throughout the first half and impacted electricity production across the nation. Furthermore, with the tight monetary conditions and high-interest rates, the inflationary pressures have started to ease, alleviating the market pressure. On the demand side, the inquiries from the downstream construction sector have also moved, albeit at a slower pace. In late Q1, declining freight charges and the ease in production costs brought on by lower energy prices led to a decrement in the market value of Titanium Tetrachloride. Thus, Titanium Tetrachloride FOB Le Havre prices were assessed at USD 2281 per ton in March.
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