In softer times, titanium industry proves economic strength

Sep 30, 2011 | 07:00 PM | Frank Haflich

Tags  Titanium, aerospace, Frank Haflich,

While the rest of the world was fretting about global economic stagnation this summer and Wall Street uncertainty was fueling speculation about a double-dip recession, titanium industry analysts kept the faith.

"It’s unusual to be talking about something that’s exhibiting strength when everything else is going in a different direction," John Mothersole, principal in Washington for IHS Global Insight’s pricing and purchasing service, said about the titanium industry’s prospects.

Mothersole, for one, was impressed by strong industry shipments in the first half and was "particularly struck" by domestic mill product shipments of about 22.7 million pounds in the first quarter. Seen on a "backward-looking basis," the four quarters through the first three months of this year represented nearly 87 million pounds of titanium "out the door," he pointed out.

Until a surprisingly robust first quarter, Mothersole had expected 2011 shipments to reach 87 million pounds, moving ahead of last year’s record 84.4 million pounds. With indications that his expectations were "too tame," he’s looking for an even better year at around 89 million pounds.....

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