World Titanium Industry Supply & Demand Overview
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
TITANIUM USA 2016 Executive Summary
Global Business Trends and Technology Innovations
World Titanium Industry Supply & Demand Overview
A captivating roster of guest speakers and sessions took center stage at TITANIUM USA 2016, the 32nd annual conference and exhibition produced by the International Titanium Association (ITA). The event, which was held September 25-28, 2016 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona hosted over 850 attendees, was a forum for thought-provoking presentations by professionals inside and outside of the titanium industry, with discussions on global business trends and technology innovations.
TITANIUM USA 2016, ITA’s 32nd annual US Conference
World Titanium Industry Demand Trends
Eric Roegner, the chief operating officer for Alcoa Investment Castings, Titanium and Engineered Products, said that Alcoa’s aerospace businesses, now known as Arconic is “laser focused on the materials and process innovations needed to deliver the next generation of commercial aircraft.” Alcoa, in May, unveiled the Arconic business as an independent, publicly traded company.
Eric Roegner - Watch The Video
Roegner identified four areas of innovation: materials science, advanced manufacturing technologies (such as 3D-printing), design optimization, and deep qualification expertise. He said total aerospace raw material demand through the year 2020 is projected to grow at an annual rate of 0.9 percent, with titanium alloys occupying a healthy 13 percent of a 1.6-billion pound market (compared with aluminum alloys at 44 percent, composites at 6 percent, and superalloys at 10 percent). He explained that overall raw material demand growth will be lower than aircraft unit growth due to lower buy-to-fly ratios and greater use of composites. “Composites and titanium continue to be the fastest-growing material categories, while aluminum demand will decrease slightly,” he said.
During his talk Roegner touted the rapid development and technical innovations found in near-net-shape extrusions and additive manufacturing. He concluded his presentation by saying the global aerospace market outlook “remains positive, industry focus is shifting from order generation to profitable delivery, and the market is ripe for innovation in materials and processes.”
Wade Leach, senior vice president, commercial, for ATI Specialty Materials, addressed “Titanium Demand and Trends in the Aero Engine Market.” Leach tracked the close correlation between the price of jet fuel and crude oil. Jet fuel peaked at about $170 per gallon in 2007 and currently hovers at around $60 per gallon. Citing numbers from Airline Monitor, Leach displayed a chart that showed commercial jet engines by OEM deliveries and forecast in 2016 stands at around 3,000 units and is expected to climb to over 4,000 units by 2019. The demand drivers in aerospace engines are higher build rates, larger engines, larger global fleets, and emerging global economies. Titanium will continue to find a role in jet engine materials in fan blades, low pressure and high pressure compressor components, with gamma titanium aluminides needed for low-pressure turbines.
Henry Seiner, vice president, business strategy for Timet (Titanium Metals Corp.), provided a titanium perspective on “Trends in the Defense Market.” Seiner displayed a bar chart that showed defense spending in the Americas was in excess of $600 billion in 2015. He pointed to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as one premium item in the U.S. defense budget. Projected annual deliveries of the fighter jet, which currently stand at around 50 units, are slated to ramp up to just over 200 units by 2025. Additional fighter jets will push the overall total, including the F-35, to an estimated 350 units by 2025.
Seiner also made mention of titanium use for naval applications, citing the U.S. Navy’s five-year shipbuilding plan. He displayed a bar chart that illustrated over 60,000 kilograms of titanium used in the LPD-17 amphibious transport dock ships. According to information posted on the America’s Navy website (www.navy.mil), amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions. LPDs “are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies. These ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions.”
Kevin J. Cain, the president of Uniti Titanium LLC, reviewed “Industrial Titanium Demand Forecast 2016,” assessing major, global industrial sectors that consume titanium. Cain, using a bar chart, said the forecast for industrial titanium demand in 2020 is anticipated to exceed 25,000 metric tons, just above the estimated 2016 level.
He also gave a “bullet-point” list of outlooks for major industrial markets. The oil and gas market is believed to have reached bottom in 2016, and the second half 2017 is expected to bring moderate growth. For power generation, increased funding for renewables, improved energy efficiency and capacity rationalization is expected to keep this segment from expanding beyond a moderate level. In desalination systems, Cain said that while the titanium industry will string together three consecutive positive shipment years (2015-2017), there are no “signature” thermal desal projects forecasted for 2018. However, there is one forecasted for 2019, although he declined to identify the site. He described the chemical process industry as a broad and diversified market segment that continues to show signs of expansion and growth.
Kazuo Kagami, the chairman of the Japan Titanium Society identified the Japanese fuel cell vehicle (FCV) as a potential emerging market to spur titanium demand. Kagami said specialty treated titanium sheets and foils are used as separators in automotive fuel cell stacks. An online report posted last April by the Green Car Congress (www.greencarcongress.com) outlined a “strategic roadmap” for automotive hydrogen and fuel cells, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The METI roadmap set targets of 40,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2020, 200,000 by 2025, and about 800,000 by 2030, in total. Currently there are some 500 fuel cell vehicles on the roads. Meanwhile, the number of hydrogen “filling” stations is expected to increase to about 160 stations by 2020 and about 320 stations by 2025. There are currently about 80. There were no specific titanium volume numbers given by the Green Car report, or Kagami, for the FCV application.
Kazuo Kagami - Watch The Video
Mohamed Bouzidi, the vice president, strategic business unit, aerospace/energy/defense for Aubert and Duval, presented titanium “Demand Trends from a European Perspective.” Bouzidi estimated European titanium mill product demand would exceed 30,000 metric tons by 2020, compared with an estimated 28,000 metric tons this year. The European Union’s aerospace demand for titanium would climb to a projected 25,000 metric tons by 2020, compared with a projected demand of about 16,000 metric tons in 2016. He estimated current European titanium capacity for melted products at 30,000 metric tons and 23,000-28,000 metric tons for mill product capacity.
An outlook report on the Russian titanium market provided by Michael Metz, the president of VSMPO Tirus US, forecasted that aerospace demand for titanium will register about 5,800 metric tons by 2020, compared with just over 5,000 metric tons this year. Engine and aircraft building represent the largest segments of the aerospace estimated demand, followed by rocket and helicopter production. For the Russian industrial market, forecasted titanium demand is expected to be about 4,500 metric tons in 2020, nearly identical to the demand estimated this year. Shipbuilding represented the largest segment of Russian industrial demand. Metz, however, did project an uptick in industrial titanium demand to just below 5,000 metric tons in 2017.
Using a pie-chart illustration, Metz indicated that the Russian market’s total titanium demand in 2015, about 12,000 metric tons, was 31 percent for industrial, 29 percent for engine building, 22 percent for aircraft building, and the remaining 17 percent for “other” categories.
World Titanium Industry Supply Trends
Thomas Hohne-Sparborth, a senior analyst with Roskill Information Services Ltd., estimated that global titanium melting capacity reached nearly 450,000 metric tons in 2016 (an increase of nearly 100,000 metric tons since 2013), while output has fallen to less than 200,000 metric tons. China and the United States currently have the largest melting capacities, each at around 138,000 metric tons, followed by Russia at 60,000 metric tons and Japan at 50,000 metric tons. “The titanium market has excess melting capacity, largely stemming from China’s vacuum arc remelting (VAR) expansion,” he said. As such, Hohne-Sparborth forecasted that, considering the current titanium melting landscape is too heavily focused on VAR, “growth in cold hearth melting, especially electron beam melting (EBM) is likely to be rapid between now and 2025.”
Thomas Hohne-Sparborth - Watch The Video
He said scrap use has risen sharply since 2011 and now is estimated to account for over 25 percent of global melt feedstock in 2016. However, he noted that “with increased integration in the titanium supply chain, more scrap is generation and used internally, rather than entering external supply chains. Scrap dealers and brokers still have a business, but may increasingly become service companies, offering their expertise and services to the integrated producers and consumers.” He also pointed out that new builds of more intensive titanium-using commercial aircraft have boosted scrap supplies.
Dave Miltenberger, sales director, vanadium, for EVRAZ Stratcor Inc., presented information on the vanadium global supply chain. Steel production is the major consumer of vanadium. As an alloy ingredient, vanadium boosts titanium’s hardness, wear resistance and strength. Industry studies identified China as the world’s largest producer of vanadium. An online article posted by Vanadium Corp. (http://www.vanadiumcorp.com/tech/research/market) indicated global vanadium production reached an estimated 76,000 metric tons in 2012, while global consumption registered 78,000 metric tons.
David McCoy, general manager, markets and strategic services, TZ Minerals International PTY Ltd., also provided insights on the vanadium market. With an annual capacity of 39,000 metric tons, McCoy identified Panzhihua New Steel and Vanadium Co. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Panzhihua Iron and Steel Group) as the largest producer that operates out of the Panzhihua region in Sichuan Province. This includes the combined output (all forms of vanadium) of both the Panzhihua and Xichang operations. The second largest vanadium producer in China is Chengde Xinxin Vanadium & Titanium Co. Ltd, associated with the steel and vanadiferous slag production in Hebei Province, with an annual capacity of 28,000 metric tons.
Kiyoaki Sando, general manager, Osaka Titanium Technologies Co. Ltd. (OTC), said world titanium sponge capacity is estimated at around 275,000 metric tons, with China, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Japan considered the major producers. Sando said that “with the current sponge production capability, we believe that titanium will continue to be a material of choice for the aerospace industry.
Nick Corby, titanium product manager, ELG Utica Alloys Inc., addressed titanium scrap trends and pointed to three important sources of titanium scrap production expected to come online within the next two years: in France, a four-partner joint venture that includes Aubert and Duval; in Japan, a joint venture between Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation through a recently signed supply agreement with the aerospace group SAFRAN; and in Russia, increasing scrap generation due to partnerships with original equipment manufacturers delivering finished and semi-finished parts. “Utilization of skull furnaces will enable VSMPO to recycle domestic scrap that was previously unavailable.”
Nick Corby - Watch The Video
TITANIUM EUROPE 2017 will be held the 17-19th May, 2017 at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. TITANIUM USA 2017 will be take place October 8-11, 2017 at the Diplomat Resort and Spa, in Hollywood, Florida. The ITA, will host the first TITANIUM ASIA conference in Singapore February 6, 2018. For conference proceedings, educational workshops, and more information on the annual conference series, please contact the ITA at titanium.org, by email or telephone 1-303-404-2221.
Michael C. Gabriele is a freelance writer on behalf of the International Titanium Association. The information presented in this report was derived from presentations and other sources provided by members of the ITA Conference. The underlying data, targets, and expectations contained herein are not, and cannot be, verified or represented as being accurate or reliable by Michael C. Gabriele or the International Titanium Association. In preparing this report, Mr. Gabriele attempted to identify data, targets, and expectations of the speakers providing this information at the conference.