This week, RBM certainly got every attention in tio2 market, like throwing a stone into a calm lake.
Located on the eastern shores of South Africa, 180 km north of Durban, Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) produces approximately 2.0 million metric tonnes of product annually making RBM a leading producer of titania slag, high purity pig iron, rutile and zircon.
Heavy minerals are extracted from the nearby dunes by dredging and concentration on a floating gravity separation plant, followed by separation of the ilmenite, rutile and zircon at the mineral separation plant located at the smelter site. The ilmenite is processed through an oxidizing roast followed by magnetic separation and is then partially reduced to an 85 per cent TiO2 slag in one of four six-in-line a.c. electric arc furnaces. The slag is milled and then classified into two
product sizes suitable as a raw material for both the sulphate and chloride pigment processes. The high quality iron produced during the reduction process is further processed to produce various grades of low-manganese iron.
Around 95 per cent of the products are exported, yielding a world market share of about 25 per cent of titania slag, rutile, high quality pig iron, and zircon.
See more details at Heavy Mineral Processing at Richards Bay Minerals.
Even now, the RBM throwed a huge stone into the calm lake. But still we are conservative to the price trend.
Now, the price is at a historial high level. After the stock cleaning, the distributors are not yet planing to make new stocks. And to the tio2 manufactures, after the fulfilling of first half orders, now only few obtained orders at hand. Some tio2 manufactures even got into panic and start to lower the price for orders. But their cost is not low, so they choose to make special offers to certain buyers. Some analysists refers that it is a centralized-cleaning of inferior products produced in the previous production.
Most of RBM raw is in high grade supplied to chloride production. And firstly, the impact will on the international CP grade producers. According to reliable source, the Kronos’ long term supply contract is one of the first contracts to be suspended.
To the SP suppliers from China, the shortage of oredrs is still the fact to small and medium tio2 manufacturers. Those who can not take the pressure may turned to adjust their price strategy.
But under the impact of RBM, the CP grade tio2 manufactures has no doubt will increase their price to cease the impacts in fourth quarter. And gradually, this impact will be passed to SP tio2 manufactures also.
To our estimation, the general price of SP grades may slightly drop in shorterm, but not much, and the second half of 2021, it is still on a solid strong ground.
To CP grades, the big players may announce a new round of price increase in the middle of August 2021.
Suggestion? Purchase in needs, make no stocks.