Nodular pig iron imports spark price war

Nov 30, 2012 | 04:21 PM | Sean Davidson

Tags  nodular pig iron, sorel, ticor, Tronox, Primetrade, Sorelmetal, QIT, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — An increase in imports from South Africa of a raw material similar to nodular pig iron has triggered a fierce price war, with some U.S. distributors now considering removing pig iron from their sales programs.

The South African material is a by-product of titanium dioxide production using a process pioneered decades ago by Sorel, Quebec-based Quebec International Titanium (QIT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto Plc.

Chicago-based Miller & Co. LLC has been the exclusive U.S. distributor of QIT’s pig iron product, popularly called Sorelmetal, for many years but is now facing competition from a South African product known as "ticor."

Stamford, Conn.-based Tronox Ltd., which owns the South African mines that produce ticor, told AMM that it doesn’t own that name and refers to its product as pig iron.....

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