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  1. watso

    19,085 posts.
    from the west australian




    Titanium faces tough times





    THE global titanium dioxide market is continuing to struggle in the face of tough market conditions with no immediate prospect of a recovery in demand, according to a new report.

    The report, released yesterday by Sydney-based researcher AME Mineral Economics, said demand for titanium dioxide pigment was "yet to pick up decisively" in the wake of the global economic downturn in 2001.

    AME said pigment producers were still battling to recover profit margins after a 15 per cent slump in prices through 2001 and early 2002. The report said major titanium minerals producers had cut their output last year in the face of oversupply and weak demand, noting Australian operator Cable Sands had offered redundancies due to mounting stocks and depressed prices.

    Projects being developed by new industry entrants in Australia and Africa were likely to place further downward pressure on prices.

    But the report also said production costs were falling. It estimated average cash cost of production of titanium minerals over a three-year period from 1999 to 2002 had fallen by more than 40 per cent.

    - Fran Spencer

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