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Titanium Prices to Keep Elevated on Production Shortages and Rising Demand from the Paint and Aerospace Industries


Titanium Prices to Keep Elevated on Production Shortages and Rising Demand from the Paint and Aerospace Industries

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Titanium Ores and Concentrates – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In the first half of 2021, prices for titanium and its derivatives shot up in response to rising demand and a drop in titanium mining last year, as well as titanium shaving stocks reduction. The rebound in the chemical and aerospace industries is a key driver for the rising demand for the metal. The potential use of titanium derivatives in alternative energy is set to stimulate further market expansion. Robust demand expectations are to keep prices elevated in the immediate term.

Key Trends and Insights

In 2021, the recovering demand from the downstream industries led to an increase in titanium prices. According to data from Asian Metal, the price for Chinese titanium sponge rose from a low of $6.9 per kg in July 2020 to $10.5 per kg in June 2021.

The prices of titanium scrap jumped in 2021 due to a drop in global stocks of shavings, a byproduct of aircraft manufacturing. According to IndexBox estimates, the average import price for titanium scrap increased from $2.9 per kg in January 2021 to $4.1 in April 2021. During this period, the import price for titanium dioxide increased from $2.6 to $3.2 per kg, while the import price for titanium fluctuated within the range of $11.3 – $14.7 per kg. Strong expectations of further market growth are expected to drive prices further in the medium term, at least until any new positive data on titanium mining will arrive.

According to IndexBox estimates based on USGS data, the global production of titanium ores and concentrates in 2020 decreased by 1.2% y-o-y to 13M tonnes. The 2020 lockdowns led to a drop in demand for titanium concentrates from stagnating chemical, metallurgical and aerospace industries. The pandemic-related mine closures were also a factor behind the production drop.

The growth in demand for titanium from the paint and varnish industries remains the main market driver. Titanium dioxide is one of the most sought-after pigments and fillers in the paint, coating and plastics industries. The demand for paints and varnishes is growing markedly due to the construction boom and the recovery of the automotive industry. The rising trend in the construction of super-large container ships will be relevant in the medium term and should sharpen the need for paints with titanium dioxide.

The reopening of air travel and water transport will increase the need for the renewal of aircraft fleets and will lead to a further increase in demand for titanium as it is the main metal used in their construction. One of the world’s largest airliner manufacturers, Airbus, has announced plans to expand production, expecting the demand for airliners to recover to pre-crisis levels within the next two years. According to quarterly reports for 2021, Boeing and Airbus increased aircraft deliveries in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2020, which indicates a recovery in demand.

The commercialization of technology for manufacturing semiconductor photocatalysts based on titanium dioxide, which are used for hydrogen fuel production, water and air purification, etc, may act as a new stimulus for the titanium market to develop. Industrial filters based on titanium dioxide neutralize organic gas emissions by converting them into carbon dioxide and water. This process could become a cheaper alternative to the traditional after-burning of factory off-gases. Titanium dioxide can be used in manufacturing solar cells and batteries. This technology could compete commercially with traditional silicon batteries if the efficiency of titanium dioxide batteries can be raised by up to 30%.

Global Titanium Ore Production by Country

In 2020, after two years of growth, there was a decline in the production of titanium ores and concentrates, when its volume decreased by -1.2% to 13M tonnes. In value terms, titanium ore and concentrate production shrank slightly to $7.8B in 2020 estimated in export prices.

The countries with the highest volumes of titanium ore and concentrate production in 2020 were China (4.2M tonnes), Canada (2.1M tonnes) and Mozambique (1M tonnes), with a combined 56% share of global production. These countries were followed by South Africa, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Senegal, Madagascar, Kenya, South Korea, India and Viet Nam, which together accounted for a further 40%. Moreover, titanium ore and concentrate production in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second-largest producer, Canada, twofold.

From 2012 to 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of titanium ore and concentrate production, amongst the leading producing countries, was attained by Senegal, while titanium ore and concentrate production for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Global Titanium Ore Exports by Country

In 2020, shipments abroad of titanium ores and concentrates decreased by -20.3% to 3.1M tonnes, falling for the third year in a row after two years of growth. In value terms, titanium ore and concentrate exports fell to $1.3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

In 2020, South Africa (724K tonnes), Ukraine (539K tonnes), Senegal (509K tonnes), Kenya (400K tonnes), South Korea (275K tonnes) and India (255K tonnes) represented the key exporter of titanium ores and concentrates in the world, achieving 86% of total export. It was distantly followed by Australia (152K tonnes), committing a 4.8% share of total exports. The U.S. (58K tonnes) took a little share of total exports.

In value terms, South Africa ($486M) remains the largest titanium ore and concentrate supplier worldwide, comprising 38% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Kenya ($157M), with a 12% share of global exports. It was followed by Ukraine, with a 11% share.

In 2020, the average titanium ore and concentrate export price amounted to $408 per tonne, rising by 19% against the previous year. From 2012 to 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Kenya, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox Platform


Monarch Air Group: How Does Technology Translate to Aviation?

Fort Lauderdale private jet provider Monarch Air Group examines how technology is helping aviation as a whole go above and beyond, the same way as other industries have relied on technology to provide added value to the end clients as well as a competitive advantage from other competing sectors.

Technologies applied in the aviation industry

A vast amount of technologies drive and enhance digital transformation both in companies and organizations and in people’s daily lives. Blockchain, Cloud, IoT, AI and Cybersecurity. But what relationship do they have with the aviation sector?

Smart Airport is a concept that has been gaining strength for years, using the latest technologies that allow efficient use of all kinds of resources, provide the best security for customers, passengers, and employees, and maximize the experience of each of them, users, and all stakeholders.

For instance, one of the leaders in energy matters is the Oslo airport, capital of Norway, which uses ecological materials with an architectural design that takes advantage of sunlight, performing efficient waste management and providing energy solutions with low CO2 emissions that contribute to the overall sustainability. Norway, and particularly Oslo, stand out for their commitment to caring for the environment.

In terms of innovation, the Beijing Daxing International Airport, one of the largest in the world, leads the way in the degree of intelligence it has achieved with the implementation of new technological systems. Robots, 5G technology, facial recognition and real-time luggage tracking with a smartphone are just some of the innovations implemented at this airport.

How technology is changing aviation

One of the most striking changes that is coming in the short or medium term is the end of the control towers. This model is already being tested in the United Kingdom and Sweden, performing this service remotely, being able to manage the air traffic control of several airports in the same center, considerably reducing construction and maintenance costs, as well as an equitable and traceable distribution of workload between operators.

Airbus is another great example of digital transformation. The company is using artificial intelligence to better understand customers by analyzing past behaviors to make predictions and recommendations; virtual reality to integrate digital models in production environments reducing testing time from three weeks to three days; digital platforms to have real-time flight test information; monitoring of more than 24,000 parameters to perform predictive maintenance; they also reorganized the entire supply chain, being able to locate component packages in real time, which include temperature, shock and vibration sensors.

How does private aviation maximize the use of technology?

Companies like Monarch Air Group, which since 2017 allows clients to pay for a flight using cryptocurrencies and offers a state-of-the-art online quoting system with thousands of active aircraft worldwide, has taken a step forward to delivering its clients a safe and reliable flight experience, from booking to landing.

The previous is the main added value for a client looking to charter a private jet, who seeks a specific aircraft for a precise route, on an exact day and time. The passenger wants to operate the process digitally, swiftly and without setbacks, and arrive 15 minutes prior to his flight with a waiting aircraft just steps away from the private jet terminal.

Other key technological advances come from manufacturers, with top-notch advances in private aircraft, from operational capability, cost-efficiency to the highest safety standards in the business. Manufacturers like Gulfstream, Cessna and Dassault raise the bar for the entire industry, making it more efficient, reliable, safer and, more recently, cleaner. All these companies are thoroughly working towards better aerodynamic efficiency for a smaller carbon footprint, technology at its finest.

Boeing to Source Fiber 777X Components from Japan

Tokyo, Japan – Japan’s Toray Industries has agreed to supply carbon fiber materials for Boeing’s new 777X jet and the Dreamliner in a 10-year deal worth more than $8.6 billion.

The deal calls for Toray to supply the material Boeing will use to build wings for the new jet, a large twin-engine passenger aircraft that’s set for delivery in 2020.

Boeing is building a plant in Washington state dedicated to making the 777X’s wings and Toray “has been selected for these main wings,” it said.

Last year, Toray said it would buy smaller U.S. rival Zoltek for about $584 million, on the back of rising demand for carbon fiber materials, which are lighter and stronger than steel and aluminium.

The news on Monday was partly in response to Boeing’s plan to ramp up production of the Dreamliner, Toray said.

Boeing has said it is planning to raise the number of 787 aircraft being produced every month from the current 10 planes to 12 per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.


Beechcraft Delivers First King Air 350ER Aircraft to Mexican Navy

Wichita, KS – Beechcraft Corporation has delivered the first of four Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft ordered by the Mexican Navy Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR).

In addition to the aircraft, Kansas-headquartered Beechcraft will support SEMAR with on-the-ground service, support and training through its Global Mission Support organization, the company said.

Rear Admiral Jose Marie Macedo, Director General of Naval Aviation Operations, visited company headquarters in Wichita, to accept delivery of the aircraft, which will be stationed at the naval base in Veracruz.

The remaining three aircraft will be delivered by the second quarter of 2015.

The company was a major exhibitor at the recent Farnsborough, UK Airshow, displaying its specially modified Beechcraft King Air 350ER.

The aircraft is operated out of Northern Europe and fitted with a mission package that supports search and rescue, fishery inspection, pollution monitoring and seaway/shipping lane surveillance missions.

The King Air 350ER was selected for these missions due to its high dash speeds, long endurance, high reliability and low operating cost.