Huntsman Corp. recently announced that a fire took place at its titanium dioxide (TiO2) manufacturing facility in Pori, Finland, on January 30, stopping production at the site until repairs can be completed. The plant reportedly accounts for 15% of Huntsman’s global TiO2 capacity and produces much of Huntsman’s graphic arts grade pigment. The impact of the fire on the supply chain into the ink manufacturing sector has been declared as force majeure by the main resellers, exerting severe and immediate pressure on inward costs. Double-digit price increases have reportedly already been announced by the pigment suppliers as a direct consequence of the shortages in the market.
The industry is diligently and swiftly working to find products and alternative grades, with China offering possible relief. However, the Chinese government has reportedly implemented mandatory production cuts and stops when pollution levels reach a trigger point to help improve air quality. This has meant that many days’ production can be lost per month, with no financial compensation. Several TiO2 producers in China have been affected by this mandate, which only exacerbates the current supply constriction.
For more information, visit www.huntsman.com.