Titanium product prices are rebounding, and some, such as ferrotitanium, have even gone on to multi-year highs, after experiencing dramatic price drops in 2020. The price falls were directly driven by the devasting impact of the global pandemic. The grounding of commercial air travel in April 2020 had widespread implications for titanium prices, culminating in multi-year lows for many products in Q3 2020.
You are watching: How much does titanium cost per pound
The price of Chinese titanium plate, 2-6mm (99.9% Ti) reached US$18.09/kg in May 2021, a price last seen in January 2013, according to Asian Metal. Chinese titanium sponge (99.7% Ti) prices have also performed well since July 2020, trading at US$10.44/kg in May 2021, but have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels of US$11.5/kg. Both titanium scrap (0.5% Sn, cif Europe) and ferrotitanium (70%Ti) were trading at relatively depressed levels pre-pandemic, following a fall in price at the beginning of 2016. However, since Q4 2020, prices have experienced a resurgence and now trade at multi-year highs, recording US$4.19/kg and US$8.60/kg according to Fastmarkets and Asian Metal in May 2021 respectively.
Titanium demand from the aerospace industry was decimated in 2020, whereas the industrial sector was less severely impacted. This is shown by the continued recovery of CP plate prices, surpassing pre-pandemic levels in January 2021. Most applications for CP plate are in the chemical processing industry, oil and gas and power generation, which explains why the price rebounded so quickly. Titanium sponge on the other hand is closely associated with the aerospace industry and the continued disruption to air travel has restricted aircraft manufacturing, resulting in a slower recovery.
Aircraft manufacturing involves the fabrication of complex components, which results in high volumes of scrap material. Scrap availability has remained tight through the second half of 2020 and into 2021, causing prices to rapidly rise to levels last seen in 2012. This has a knock on effect for the production of ferrotitanium, of which, scrap is a major component. FeTi (70% Ti) prices are currently trading at levels last seen in 2011, peaking at US$8.79/kg in April 2021.
The continued resurgence of sponge prices is largely dependent on the continued recovery of the aerospace industry. nadechworld.com believes international air travel will resume in some capacity in H2 2021, stimulating greater demand. This should in turn relieve the scrap shortages, enabling a price correction for FeTi and scrap.
nadechworld.com’s Titanium Metal: Outlook to 2031, 11th Edition report will be published in July 2021. For more information or to subscribe, click here.
Don’t miss nadechworld.com’s Technology Metals 2021 conference on 4 June, an online event for the tungsten, titanium, tin and tantalum markets. Register here.
Contact the author
This article was written by RossEmbleton. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further: