TiO2 China: New environmental inspections announced 05-08-2017

China’s government has revealed another wave of environmental inspections, which will further put pressure on China’s TiO2 manufacturers and producers of raw materials like ilmenite. Tightening supply and increasing environmental protection costs may support a further price rise of TiO2 in China 2017.



Since the year of 2016, China’s government has strengthened efforts significantly to reduce the environmental pollution of certain heavy-polluting industries. One of these industries is the TiO2 industry, which prices recovered in 2016 due to tighter supply.

 

In fact, about 17% of the total production capacity of TiO2 in China was affected by production limitation and haltering in the four main provinces Shanxi, Henan, Shandong, and Hebei in China.

 

The tight supply is the result of stricter environmental regulations, which forced several enterprises to limit the production and even forced smaller-sized companies to withdraw completely from the market, not able to achieve the implementation of the new measurements.

 

One of the results of China’s surging prices is the realignment of several overseas buyers from China’s to other international markets. However, the increasing but irregular orders for overseas manufacturers of TiO2 cannot be fulfilled every time, since the production capacity is not sufficient for the new clients.

 

In the beginning of April 2017, the Ministry of Environmental Protection had revealed to intensify environmental inspections in heavy-polluting industries. The main focus is set hereby on the economic heart of China in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

 

According to market intelligence firm CCM, the main measurements of this new inspections are on the one hand targeting the production suspensions and shutdown of companies which are not able to achieve the new environmental standards. On the other hand, organisations and facilities are being implemented, which supervise the different grades of pollution by targeted companies and help to install pollution treatment and monitoring devices.

 

The detailed environmental inspections were implemented in the beginning of 2016 and are separated currently, among others, into air quality inspections and environmental inspections on atmospheric pollution.

 

Inspections are normally lasting for one year. A general environmental inspection has begun in November 2016 and will end in 2017 accordingly. Other inspections have just been implemented and will run until 2018.

 

Hence, the pressure on manufacturers in heavy-polluting industries is going to rise, which will have inevitably an effect on the supply and price of TiO2 in China in the approaching seasons.


The price of TiO2 in China is affected by surging environmental protection costs for manufacturers. Those producers, which are not able to meet the new and stricter requirements, have to face production suspension and limitation. An increasing number of cases is getting published, where manufacturers failed to install needed environmental protection devices or illegally discharged pollution, which caused high penalty fines. Hence, production suspensions, not only for the TiO2 producer but also upstream suppliers like ilmenite manufacturer, are tightening the supply and put pressure on TiO2 prices in China.

 

What’s more, the new implementations of pollution tracking, monitoring and avoiding devices is connected to big investments for the manufacturers. While large-scale enterprises can afford these investments, and implement them accordingly, many small and medium-sized enterprises do not have the financial power to invest in the facilities and technology, which leads to a withdrawal of the market in the long run.

 

China has undergone a reorganisation of its TiO2 and titanium ore industry in recent years. As a result, many mines and concentration plants have been shut down, which has shortened the supply for ilmenite to some extent. The short supply, together with a resulted price rise, is one of the main concerns of TiO2 manufacturers.

 

About CCM

CCM is the leading market intelligence provider for China’s agriculture, chemicals, food & ingredients and life science markets.

 

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