US anti-dumping duties on Chinese carbazole violet remain in place

US anti-dumping duties on Chinese carbazole violet remain in place

F O C U S and volatility of input cost increases are at unprecedented levels and our TiO2 business cannot continue to absorb the costs.” Independently...

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F O C U S and volatility of input cost increases are at unprecedented levels and our TiO2 business cannot continue to absorb the costs.” Independently, DuPont has also been advising its customers that, with crude oil prices in the region of $100 per barrel (as against only $30 per barrel prior to 2003/04), there will have to be a step-change of at least 10% in medium-term average TiO2 pigment prices just to take account of energy and chlorine costs. For its part, Cristal Global stated at the recent Vienna press seminar: “The TiO2 industry should take a leaf out of the petrochemical suppliers’ book. Instead of taking a classic supply/ demand approach to pricing, pigment suppliers ought to persuade customers of the benefits of a costplus approach, avoiding the shortterm swings up and down, smoothing out regional price discrepancies and giving suppliers a return that will encourage them to invest in new pigment capacity.” (See also ‘Focus on Pigments’, Jan 2008, 1-3). All of this looks very reasonable from the viewpoint of the major TiO2 multinationals. But consumers, facing soaring oil-related costs of their own, may turn a deaf ear to such entreaties. There is still an excess of effective capacity over consumption of 7-10% and suppliers are investing in new capacity anyway – in Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Ukraine, the UK and possibly elsewhere too. Press Releases from: DuPont Titanium Technologies, Wilmington, DE 19880-0036, USA (26 Nov 2007 & 7 Jan 2008) & Tronox, Oklahoma City, OK 73102-7109, USA (6 Dec 2007 & 10 Jan 2008) & Kronos Worldwide, Dallas, TX 75240, USA (11 Jan 2008) & Cristal Global, Hunt Valley, MD 21030, USA & Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (24 Dec 2007 & 15 Jan 2008) & Huntsman Tioxide, The Woodlands, TX, USA & Billingham, UK (18 Jan 2008) & TiO2 Worldwide Update, Nov/Dec 2007, 15 (6), 4

US anti-dumping duties on Chinese carbazole violet remain in place The US Department of Commerce (USDC) has rescinded its review of carbazole violet imports from Trust Chem (of China). This means that the anti-dumping duty on material from Trust Chem will remain in place at 39.29%, the rate determined in March 2007. This follows similar action (or inaction) announced by the USDC in respect of carbazole violet from 12

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other Chinese suppliers. (See ‘Focus on Pigments’, Jan 2008, 3). Federal Register, 17 Dec 2007, 72 (241), 7135471355 (Website: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/advanced.html)

China’s architectural paint demand to reach 3 M tonnes/y by 2015 In a three-page survey of the Chinese paint industry for ‘IM’, Dr Terry Knowles (of Information Research Ltd) notes that the market split (in terms of volume) is currently 35% architectural paints, 65% industrial and automotive paints. This contrasts against the 50-65% architectural, 3550% industrial split that is typically seen in Western Europe and North America. Total Chinese paint demand was 3.8 M tonnes in 2005. Of the 1.3 M tonnes of architectural paints, exterior wall paints accounted for 221,000 tonnes (or 17%) in 2005, while interior paints accounted for 1.08 M tonnes (or 83%). Hitherto, most architectural paint consumption has been geared towards nonhousing construction (office blocks, research centres, municipal buildings, etc). But, over the next five years, China’s building industry will be increasingly focused on the residential sector, with the Government encouraging home ownership with the provision of low-interest loans from special housing funds. Total architectural paints consumption is forecast to increase at 8.7% per annum, from 1.3 M tonnes in 2005 to 3.0 M tonnes in 2015. Reflecting the switch in emphasis towards the residential sector, exterior wall coatings will account for 1.8 M tonnes (or 60% of the total), while interior paints will account for 1.2 M tonnes (or 40% of the total) in 2015. The paint industry in China is highly fragmented. There are more than 8000 companies manufacturing paint of one type or another, but many of them are very small. Only 27 companies produce more than 5000 tonnes/y of paint. Only 14 companies produce more than 10,000 tonnes/y and only eight companies produce more than 20,000 tonnes/y of paint. Some of the major multinationals have made a determined effort to establish a manufacturing presence in China. The market leaders in China’s architectural paint sector – Nippon

Paint, Akzo Nobel and Valspar – now account for a combined market share of about 27%. The largest indigenous paintmaker is the Maydos Chemical group, which has expanded rapidly by a series of acquisitions and now has 15 paint factories. Geographically, the top three regions account for 59% of the country’s total architectural paints output, with Guangdong contributing 27.3%, Shanghai contributing 20.6% and Beijing contributing 11.3%. The distribution and retailing of architectural paints within China is changing. Traditionally, the building material markets accounted for more than 50% of all paint tonnage sales, with hardware stores accounting for most of the rest. Thanks to B & Q, Home Depot, Homemart, Homeway and Leroy Merlin, “Western-style” DIY superstores are beginning to make an impact in certain Chinese cities. At the same time, the Jinsheng group, RedStar Macalline and EasyHome are planning to build massive new retail complexes accommodating only stores that cater for home improvements, including paint, as well as floor-coverings and furniture. Both the DIY superstores and the retail complexes are expected to capture market share from more traditional outlets. A slightly different assessment of China’s architectural paints industry was recently published in ‘JCW.’ According to this source, China currently manufactures 1.1 M tonnes/y of water-based paints, mainly for use in the architectural sector. Waterbased paints are far more popular in China than wallpapers or alternative wall-coverings. The country’s production of water-based paints is said to be increasing at a rate of 1215% per annum. ‘JCW’ estimates total Chinese paint production at 5 M tonnes/y, indicating that the architectural paint sector accounts for only just over 20% of the total. Industrial Minerals, Nov 2007, (482), 76-78 & Japan Chemical Week, 10 Jan 2008, 49 (2448), 3-4

PLANTS China: Hunan YongLi – TiO2 Hunan YongLi Chemical Industry Co Ltd is carrying out a feasibility study for a new 50,000 tonnes/y sulfate-

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