One of the dominant issues for industry in the last couple of years has been the price evolution of some raw materials. The coatings industry is one that has been severely impacted, namely because of the steep increase in the costs of titanium oxide (TiO2). There are various explanations for this increase, but perhaps the dominant factor disrupting the equilibrium between supply and demand is the increasing consumption of emerging markets like China, coupled with the lack of delivering capacity of the world’s largest TiO2 producers.
Globally, the per capita consumption of TiO2 is 0.90 kg. However, the gap between industrialized and emerging economies tells a story of differentiated demand trends: whereas the per capita demand of TiO2 in Western nations is 3.50 kg, in China, for example, it is 0.45 kg. With the perspectives of growth in China and other emerging economies, it is reasonable to conclude that the price of titanium oxide should maintain its tendency to increase.
In fact, according to one of the leading TiO2 producers, suppliers will continue having difficulty meeting the needs of market demand, which will lead to more price increases. It is estimated that the price of titanium oxide could break the €3,500/ton barrier in the near future.
Omya AG, the world’s leading calcium carbonate producer, developed as a response a new solution that decreases the coatings industry’s exposure to the TiO2 price increases. This solution is called Omyabrite: using an innovative process, it is possible to modify the surface area of calcium carbonate power, enabling it to occupy the spaces between the titanium dioxide granules. Omyabrite’s filling activity acts as an “extender” of TiO2, allowing for a partial replacement and therefore for a decreased usage of titanium in a paint formulation, without impacting on the final products optical properties, such as color, opacity and the glossy or matte finishing.
At a time when the construction sector in Portugal is going through a difficult period, applying Omyabrite to reduce materials costs should have an important impact.
Do not hesitate to contact Salmon if you wish to learn more about Omyabrite.