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"Set sail at a new starting point and embark on a new journey together!" In order for the titanium and zirconium industry to make better investment layout and decision-making in 2022, the 2021 Titanium and Zirconium Industry Annual Conference and China Titanium and Zirconium Industry Development Summit Forum was grandly held in Guangxi on December 2-3 Nanning.
At 11 am on December 3, the Titanium-Zirconium Industry Summit Forum was held as scheduled. The guests for this discussion were: Xu Ran, Deputy General Manager of Overseas Sales of Longbai Group Co., Ltd., and Feng Liming, Co-General Manager of Guangdong Orient Zirconic Ind Sci & Tech Co., Ltd., Sheng Long, Chief Representative of the Beijing Representative Office of Kenmare Resources Co., Ltd., Dong Wen, Chairman of Hainan Wensheng Zirconium Titanium Industry Co., Ltd., Xiao Fei, General Manager of Matrix (Guangzhou) Metamaterials Co., Ltd.?, Chai Xiaobing, Sales Director of Luoyang Shuangrui Wanji Titanium Industry Co., Ltd., Bi Sheng, Titanium Dioxide Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance/National Chemical Industry Productivity Promotion Center Titanium Dioxide Branch Secretary-General Director, and guest host Miao Huijun, Vice President of Iluka Resources Co., Ltd..
Topics discussed in this forum include: 1. How will the development of international shipping and international relations in 2022 affect China's zirconium and titanium industry; 2. Whether titanium concentrate, high titanium slag, rutile, and titanium dioxide will continue to operate at a high level in 2022; 3. Is there any breakthrough in the international competitiveness of domestic titanium dioxide by chlorination process, and whether it is good for foreign trade? 4. In 2021, the domestic production of titanium sponge increased significantly, and whether it will accelerate a new round of reshuffle of the industry; 5. Whether the supply of zircon sand continues to be tight in 2022, and what is the trend of international prices, can domestic zircon sand reproduce the high market; 6. Can raw materials continue to pull the downstream market of zirconium? The terminal price transmission capacity is limited, whether it affects zirconium silicate and zirconium oxychloride demand and price execution? 7. The ceramic industry continues to reshuffle. How will zirconium silicate enterprises respond in 2022 and will they usher in new opportunities?
Sheng Long, Chief Representative of the Beijing Representative Office of Kenmare Resources Co., Ltd., said that Kenmare's titanium concentrate output this year was about 1.3-1.4 million tons, a significant increase compared to last year, and production capacity has returned to normal levels. Similarly, the domestic demand for titanium concentrate has also increased significantly. Even though the output of more than 1-2 mines has increased this year, the demand for titanium-zirconium ore is currently in short supply. Although the current Chinese real estate market is not good, leading to the poor performance of the Chinese titanium dioxide market, you can see that international titanium dioxide manufacturers such as Chemours and Tronox have issued price increases in the first quarter of next year. Therefore, the international titanium dioxide market is very clear. Yes, the demand for titanium concentrate is also very good. At present, many international mine owners are beginning to talk about long-term orders next year. It is expected that the new order prices of international titanium ore and rutile will be much higher than domestic prices starting in the first quarter of next year.
Dong Wen, Chairman of Hainan Wensheng Zirconium Titanium Industrial Co., Ltd., said that this year's ocean freight has a particularly large impact on domestic companies. In the past, the ocean freight from Mozambique to China was around 60 usd/ton, but now it is basically around 100 usd/ton. However, the biggest problem of maritime transport is detention in ports. This year, many companies have suffered heavy losses due to detention in ports. Some companies have even been detained in ports for more than 40 days. Therefore, even if the prices of raw materials signed by various manufacturers were not expensive before, the actual cost is still very high with the addition of demurrage and sea freight.
Ms. Xu Ran, Deputy General Manager of Overseas Sales of Longbai Group Co., Ltd., said that the current trend of large-scale domestic titanium concentrate is relatively obvious, and the new capacity of domestic sulfuric acid titanium dioxide is limited, so the supply and demand relationship of the entire sulfuric acid method is still relatively stable. The supply of raw materials is also relatively matched. The future market still depends on the specific promotion of sulfuric acid titanium dioxide manufacturers. If the sales of titanium dioxide continue to be strong, the shortage of raw materials and prices will be affected. Since the beginning of the epidemic in 2020, the sales of sulfuric acid titanium dioxide have continued to fluctuate. The titanium dioxide cannot be sold in the early stage, resulting in relatively stable titanium ore prices. In the later stage, the international titanium dioxide supply is tight, so the driving force for raw materials is still obvious. Next, whether it is sulfuric acid method or chloride method titanium dioxide enterprises will face the problem of supply capacity and guarantee. The greater the company's ability, the greater it can afford. Of course, downstream companies will also find stable suppliers to purchase. China's internal competition depends on whether the export of sulfuric acid titanium dioxide continues to increase, and on the other hand, what’s the next trend of domestic downstream demand. At present, there are still certain uncertain factors in the market.
Bi Sheng, Secretary-General of the Titanium Dioxide Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance/National Chemical Industry Productivity Promotion Center Titanium Dioxide Branch, said that about 90% of titanium ore is used for titanium dioxide production. In the future, more titanium ore markets have to pay attention to titanium dioxide. At present, the only domestic titanium dioxide manufacturers that have their own titanium ore are Longbai, PanGang, Dahutong, CNNC and Yunnan Zhongtai. At present, 100% of high-quality titanium concentrate is basically imported. And there are more than 30 titanium dioxide purchases relying on outsourcing. It is expected that titanium ore and titanium dioxide will remain high next year.
The import volume of titanium ore from January to October this year has exceeded the import volume of the whole year of last year. The export volume of titanium dioxide from January to October increased by 50000 to 60000 tons compared with the same period last year. Last year, the output of titanium dioxide was 3.5 million tons and the export volume was 1.1 million tons. Basically one-third of the output is exported, so the export of titanium dioxide is very important. At present, the international titanium dioxide pattern has stabilized, but there will be many new domestic changes starting next year. It is understood that there will be at least 13-14 project expansions in 2022-2023, including 200,000 tons of Inner Mongolia Guo Cheng and 100,000 tons of Chuangda Yutu, Shengwei Fuquan 50,000 tons, Lubei Chemical 160,000 tons (of which 100,000 tons of sulfuric acid has been put into production), Jiangxi Tianguang 80,000 tons, Ningbo Xinfu 100,000 tons, Haifengxin 60,000 tons, Qianjiang Fangyuan 70,000 tons, Hebei Jicheng 500,000 tons, Yunmen Jingyang 30,000 tons, Yibin Tianyuan 50,000 tons, Huai’an Feiyang 100,000 tons and other manufacturers, the current expansion of production has exceeded 1.7 million tons. At present, most of the new production of titanium dioxide is between 100,000 and 200,000 tons. Even if it cannot be put into production 100%, it can still reach 50%. Now the production capacity of 4.5 million tons of titanium dioxide has exceeded the global production capacity. With the increase in demand, the price of high-quality titanium concentrate will definitely go high next year, which will continue to drive the market price of titanium dioxide to remain high.
Feng Liming, Co-General Manager of Guangdong Orient Zirconic Ind Sci & Tech Co., Ltd., said that this year's zirconium enterprises have a good income, and the price of fused zirconia has reached around 45,000 yuan/ton. Although the current price has fallen, it is also a return to normal. The trend of the zirconium market next year will depend more on the specific supply-demand relationship. The reason for this year's price increase is that on the one hand, RBM has stopped production and the supply of zircon sand is tight; on the other hand, the demand for downstream photovoltaic products has increased. It is expected that the price of zirconium products will basically develop at a high level next year. Among them, Tronox has announced that the price of zircon sand in the first quarter of next year will increase by 230 usd/ton, converted into RMB at 14500-15000 yuan/ton, and the current domestic price of zircon sand 65% at 16000-16500 yuan/ton, although there is currently a price difference in the domestic and foreign markets, judging from the current overall market situation, the zircon sand market should be stable and upward next year, but there should not be a surge like the first half of 2021. At present, domestic concentrators are also expanding production in various ways. The production capacity may exceed 2 million tons, most of which are in Rizhao Port, Dafeng Port and Lianyungang Port. Therefore, the demand for raw materials will continue to increase to a certain extent, it supports zirconium raw materials.
Xiao Fei, General Manager of Matrix (Guangzhou) Metamaterials Co., Ltd.?, said that 2021 is undoubtedly a year of zirconium, and the overall increase in domestic zirconium silicate is relatively large. Affected by the epidemic, factories in India stagnated in the first half of this year and did not gradually recover until the second half of this year. Malaysian factories are currently in a stable state. It is expected that the demand for Malaysian factories will continue to increase in the later period. The European market has now rebounded. Therefore, the demand for ceramics will increase accordingly. Domestically, from the upstream point of view, the domestic zircon sand inventory is indeed decreasing, and the supply of Tronox and Iluka will also decrease next year. As we all know, Tronox Australia and South Africa each have four mining areas, one of which will facing the suspension of production soon, the transportation volume at the RBM port is only 50% of the previous volume. In general, the supply of the Big Three zirconium mines will definitely decrease next year. From the perspective of domestic downstream real estate, it is expected that the demand for ceramic factories will continue to decrease next year, and the decrease may exceed the decrease in supply. The demand for the photovoltaic industry will increase in 2021, but it should return to a stable situation in 2022. Therefore, compared with the whole year, the downstream demand for zirconium will definitely decrease next year. However, the demand in the European and American markets will resume next year. For the overall demand for zircon sand, the domestic market is also facing certain procurement challenges.
Chai Xiaobing, Sales Director of Luoyang Shuangrui Wanji Titanium Industry Co., Ltd., believes that the national titanium sponge production in 2019 will be 87,000 tons, and the output in 2020 will be 116,000-120,000 tons. This year's output is expected to be about 140,000 tons. Next year, the increase in titanium sponge production should be at 10-30%. In 2020, China’s production of titanium sponge will account for 50% of the world’s total. It is expected to account for 60% this year and 70% next year. It is estimated that by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan, the domestic production of titanium sponge should be 220,000 to 240,000 tons, which will account for the world’s total of 80% or more. At present, the domestic production of titanium sponge continues to increase, but most companies do not have a large inventory. On the one hand, the military industry’s demand for titanium sponge accounted for less than 5% of the total. Obviously, the current tensions with Taiwan, India, and the United States urgently require China to develop aerospace, including ordnance and ocean engineering. On the other hand, it is a demographic dividend, with a population of 1.4 billion in China. However, there is still relatively little knowledge and use of titanium. The demand for civilian titanium sponge continues to increase, currently accounting for about 20%, and it is expected to reach 30% after next year. At present, domestic rutile and high titanium slag are expensive and not easy to purchase, which has reduced the profits of titanium sponge companies, and our downstream is constantly lowering prices, making it more difficult for titanium sponge companies to survive in the middle of the market. The price drop is a bad thing for titanium sponge companies, at least it is a good thing for the future application and promotion of titanium. As a civilian product, only high-quality, good-priced and low-cost titanium can facilitate promotion and make titanium better used in China. Since 2004, the titanium sponge market has undergone two rounds of reshuffle. Companies that can survive have their own advantages and can find their own footholds. Even if the titanium sponge market continues to be shuffled, it will be an impact on the current half-process enterprises, or enterprises with an annual output of less than 5,000 tons are under relatively high pressure, but they will all have their own way of footing.
Miao Huijun, Vice President of Iluka Resources Co., Ltd., said that with 3-4 chlorinated titanium dioxide manufacturers including CITIC Titanium, Lubei Chemical, Longbai Group, Tianyuan Group, etc., the production capacity of chlorinated titanium dioxide of more than 100,000 tons will increase. Coupled with the expansion of titanium sponge manufacturers, it is expected that the demand for titanium raw materials will continue to be strong next year, so the price must be high. Of course, next year will the titanium sponge market recognize the cost pressure? Can titanium dioxide withstand the pressure of export and foreign competition? Of course, there are still many uncertain factors in the market. However, some good signs are already showing. Among them, Kronos has announced that the price of chlorinated titanium dioxide has reached about 4000 usd/ton. At present, the domestic titanium dioxide export price is only more than 3000 usd/ton. At present, there are price gap of 1000 usd/ton, so this is completely beneficial to the domestic titanium dioxide market.
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Welcome Dinner More
At the evening banquet, Deng Shikang, President of Qinzhou Zirconium and Titanium Mining Association, and Chen Xiaofeng, General Manager of FerroAlloyNet, respectively took the stage to give a toast, and shared this cup of good wishes from our colleagues in the titanium and zirconium industry! One by one wonderful program sing the prosperity of the industry, and set sail for a new starting point for titanium and zirconium, and go on a new journey in the industry together!