60% of the world titanium dioxide utilized for pigments in 2017
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the generic term for ilmenite, leucoxene, natural and synthetic rutile, as well as titanium slag. Its value chain spans across the ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile feedstocks, to the refined intermediates titanium slag and synthetic rutile, up to the end products, which include pigments and chemical intermediates.
In 2017, 15 million tonnes of ilmenite, rutile, and titanium slag were processed worldwide, according to a recent report by Ceresana.
60% thereof were utilized for the production of pigments. For other end products, such as technically pure titanium, electrical conductors, and chemical intermediates, 7% were utilized. The rest, 33% were used for further refinement into synthetic rutile and titanium slag.
While only a few countries dominate the market for these feedstocks, the processors in Asia-Pacific, North America, and Western Europe determine the demand. The industry in Asia-Pacific accounted for almost 46% of global demand in 2017 while North America and Western Europe followed with almost 17% respectively.
The most important sales markets for TiO2 pigments are paints and coatings with a market share of over 56%, followed by plastics, paper, and other pigment applications, for example food and sunscreen.