Analysis on China's TiO2 import and export in the last 10 years 07-18-2017

In 2010, China became the largest TiO2 producer in the world. Since then, the country is decisively influencing the world market of TiO2. China’s import and exports for this raw material used mainly in the coatings, plastic, papermaking, and pharmaceutical industry, is affecting all parts of the world.


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China’s export volume of TiO2 did not even meet 100 million kg in 2008, combining the specifications of anatase, rutile, and non-pigment TiO2. In the year 2016, the export volume already surpassed 750 million kg. The year 2015 and especially the year 2012 showed some drops in the export volume, which was overall increasing immensely in average.  

Looking at the export price, the value underwent some significant fluctuations throughout the years. The lowest export price in the last 10 years of China’s TiO2 has been USD1.57 per kg in average. However, even double this price was witnessed in some years throughout the period.  

The USA, as well as South Korea, have always been loyal export destinations for Chinese TiO2, remaining under the top 5 consumers in the whole last decade. However, the analysis from Tranalysis shows, that China’s TiO2 export destinations have been switching from established, developed countries to emerging markets throughout the years.  

The trend for anatase, rutile, and non-pigment TiO2 has developed differently in the past years, with rutile TiO2 becoming much more important for China’s exports than the other specifications.  

From 2008 to 2010, Henan Billion Chemicals has been the leading exporting enterprise for TiO2 in China. After 2010, the company was surpassed by Sichuan Lomon Group. Today, the two enterprises are merged together into Lomon Billions and represent by far the largest TiO2 enterprise in China and one of the biggest player in the global market.  


Overall, China’s imports have witnessed a declining trend in the period from 2008 to 2016. The country already became a net exporter of TiO2 in 2010, when the export volume surpassed the import volume. The import volume fluctuated several times, falling under 200 million kg in 2012, was able to recover and dropped again in the year 2016.  

The import price was decreasing in average as well, even some peaks can be found throughout the last 10 years. In general, China’s import price for TiO2 was several times higher than the export price in most of the past years. Even two-digit numbers for the USD price per kg were no rarity in China’s import.  

Taiwan, Australia, and the USA have been traditionally in the first ranks of China’s TiO2 suppliers in the last decade. However, as China’s import volume went down continuously, the list of import origins also got smaller during the last years. China imported the needed TiO2 from fewer countries every year, depending mostly on the key suppliers.  

The main importers from 2008 to 2012 in China have been companies like the Zhejiang Harmony Investment Group and Shanghai Sanchang Import and Export. In more recent years, new players have climbed the top of the importers for TiO2 in China, like the Chemours Chemical (Shanghai) or Zhejiang Kingdecor.  

Analysis of the trend

China’s titanium dioxide (TiO2) industry was growing rapidly in the past decade. Reaching the status as a largest TiO2 producer in 2009, the capacity was able to rise by 14.52% average on CAGR in the years 2009 to 2013. In 2010, the country has become already a net exporter of TiO2, with the export volume increasing by 11.13% from 2010 to 2013. China is also one of the main consumers of TiO2 worldwide, witnessing a growing rate of consumption from 2009 to 2013 by 9.36%. The material is mainly used in the coatings, plastic and papermaking industry in China.  

From 2013 ongoing, China enlarged its export volume with huge efforts. The major driver was the demand from export destinations with high potential such as Brazil and India. In 2013, the volume of China's titanium dioxide exported to both countries accounted for 19.53% of the total export volume. As the members of the BRICs, the development prospects of Brazil and India were optimistic and they both needed to invest a lot in infrastructure, thus had a large demand for titanium dioxide.  

During the past years, China had shifted its main titanium dioxide export destinations from European and North American to the emerging markets in Asia Pacific, Middle East and South America.  

in the end of 2014, the export market has become the development key for the domestic TiO2 industry. In 2014, the export volume of TiO2 from China hit an ever since the peak, increasing by 35.36% year-on-year. It is worth noting that the exports of TiO2 to the Middle East and Europe had the fastest growth rates.  

In 2016, China imported and exported TiO2, up by 12.30% YoY and 33.82% YoY respectively. According to this, China consumed 2.08 million tonnes TiO2 and the market value of the TiO2 industry rebounded to USD3.39 billion.  

China’s TiO2 exports were booming in 2016. The continuously depreciating RMB and the increasing export scales of China’s manufacturers have strengthened this development throughout the year. As a fact, many of China’s producers exported their products with a lower price while achieving higher profit margins in the domestic market of TiO2.  

The year 2016 had seen an explosive growth in China's TiO2 export business. It is not a surprise that domestic inventory will easily be eased by export volume accounting for nearly one-third of production, and then the prices can be pushed up continuously.  

The overseas demand for Chinese TiO2 rose up by about 17% in 2016, which enabled an export increase of the manufacturers in China. As a fact, Chinese TiO2 is highly demanded in overseas markets, due to the comparatively small price of the suppliers. The export of TiO2 is responsible for about one-third of the total output in China.  

About Tranalysis

Tranalysis is an intelligence and analysis provider on import & export data covering over 15 industries in China. Gathering and analysing trade data since 2001,

For more information about Tranalysis, please visit the website or get in touch with the team directly by emailing or calling +86-20-37616606. 

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