Toho Titanium Raises Sponge Export Price by 20-25% in 2012

Toho Titanium will raise titanium sponge contract price for 2012 shipment to overseas titanium fabricators by 20-25% from 2011 contracts. Mr. Takeshi Kurushima, president of Toho Titanium, explained at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday the firm offered export price hike to reflect cost upsurge of raw sponge materials. He also revealed an intention to offer sponge price hike against Japanese titanium fabricators for fiscal 2012 (April 2012-March 2013) shipment. The price negotiation will start soon.

Mr. Kurushima explained the firm launched price negotiations with offshore sponge users a month ago and the hike was mostly approved. As for domestic price negotiation with domestic users, he emphasized the firm appeals for sponge hike to cover increasing cost of raw sponge materials. Meanwhile, he suggested the range of hike might become narrower than 20-25% due to strong yen trend.

Raw sponge material prices have recently jumped up since same materials are aggressively consumed for pigment in China and other emerging countries. Another factor is that Australian major refiner of sponge materials had currently withdrawn from the business since sponge material prices had kept unprofitably low.

Japanese titanium sponge makers approved 50% price hike for sponge materials for 2011 yearly contracts. Raw material prices are likely to surge more in 2012. Japanese sponge makers have shown an intention to put raw material cost upsurge on sponge price.

Toho Titanium had raised sponge export price by 30% for 2005 contracts, by 20% for 2006, by 30% for 2007 and by 10% for 2008. For 2009 and 2010 contracts, the export price had downed by 15% yearly to reflect the demand decline. For 2011 contracts, the firm hiked the price for the first time since 2008 when titanium consumption recovered for airplanes and plants.