OSAKA Titanium Technologies said on Wednesday at press conference to brief semi annual results the firm expects the annual contract export price of sponge titanium will decrease by more than 10% for 2009. The price decreases for the first time in 5 years under slower demand when airplane delivery schedule delays. The price is expected to decreases for Japanese rolled products. The firm decided the 10% output reduction in second half of the year ending March 2009 while the firm eyes slowdown for expansion investment by more than 6 months.The firm realized price hikes for 4 years in a row including 30% hike in 2005, 20% hike in 2006, 30% hike in 2007 and 10% hike in 2008. The export price would decrease to level in 2007. The firm still expects the airplane titanium demand increases in long term when airplane makers keep order backlog for 7 years and titanium is consumed more for airplane unit to reduce the weight. However, Boeing Company is behind the delivery schedule for new model, B787 and the delivery should delay more when strike on September 6 stopped the line. The firm already reached basic agreement with the offshore users to reduce the export price of sponge titanium by more than 10% for 2009 shipment. The firm reduces the output by 10% in second half of fiscal 2008 when the shipment will decrease by around 2,000 tonnes in January-March. The president Masaaki Tachibana said the firm started study to delay the expansion investment by more than 6 months from original schedule of additional 6,000 tonnes by July 2009 and additional 3,000 tonnes by October 2009.
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