ATI’s Hassey not fretting about titanium overhang

Dec 03, 2009 | 11:48 AM | Frank Haflich

While a large part of the titanium industry frets about a huge inventory overhang in aerospace, the top executive of Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) argues that there may be good reason for maintaining these stocks.

L. Patrick Hassey, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh-based specialty metals producer, suggested to investors this week that a pickup in demand for aerospace titanium is likely to coincide with a global recovery in non-aircraft markets.

The bad news, Hassey said during an aerospace and defense conference in New York, is that when the market turns down, material suppliers such as ATI "turn down first"—anywhere from nine to 14 months ahead of aircraft production schedules. But the good news is that when production swings up, "we're usually the first ones to see business." During the first nine months of 2009, titanium accounted for 21 percent of ATI's $698 million in sales. ....

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