LOS ANGELES Mining for
U.S. shipment and pricing figures for titanium is becoming
increasingly difficult as the pool of data reported by
Allegheny Technologies Inc.
(ATI) sold 10.3 million pounds of titanium in the first
quarter, it said this past week. But other, more detailed,
figures that the company had reported for years were missing,
and a spokesman for the Pittsburgh-based specialty metals
producer indicated that that dataincluding shipping
volumes and average prices of titanium mill products, along
with those for nickel-based material and zirconium produced by
ATIs High Performance Metals groupwont be
disclosed in the future.
One of the chief contributors to
the business segment is ATIs Allvac Inc. unit in Monroe,
N.C., a major U.S. producer of aerospace alloy titanium and
nickel-based long products. The other main component of
ATIs titanium business (separate from High Performance
Metals) is flat-rolled products, mainly non-aerospace,
commercially pure titanium produced by Uniti LLC, a Moon
Township, Pa.-based joint venture with Russian producer
ATI did report that overall
sales of titanium products rose nearly 22 percent in the first
quarter vs. the last three months of 2012, and represented 16
percent of ATIs quarterly corporate sales of $1.2
billion. Titanium shipments in the first quarter of 2012
totaled a little over 10 million pounds (
amm.com, May 1).
It is widely assumed among
industry players that ATIs decision to drop specific
shipment and price data on High Performance Metals
products was tied to Precision Castparts Corp.s
(PCCs) $2.9-billion acquisition of Titanium Metals Corp.
(Timet) late last year (
amm.com, Nov. 9), with the expectation that Timet
would no longer break out its titanium shipment and average
product prices or the previously reported data for melted
A PCC spokesman confirmed
industry expectations that Timets shipments and average
sale prices wont be disclosed in the parent
companys upcoming release of results for the quarter
ended March 31. Timet has been folded into PCCs forged
products business segment, he said, and noted that PCCs
Special Metals Corp. unit, a major producer of nickel-based and
other alloys, also doesnt break out its results.
Outsiders had speculated that
ATI would be reluctant to disclose data withheld by what is
regarded in the industry as its main competitor, but the ATI
spokesman said a change in reporting had been under
consideration for most of last year and had "absolutely
nothing" to do with the Timet acquisition. It was instead
related to ATIs $778-million acquisition in 2011 of
castings and forgings producer Ladish Co. (
amm.com, May 10, 2011), he said.
"Now that were integrated
with Ladish, it doesnt represent our business anymore,"
the ATI spokesman said about High Performance Metals
shipment and price data.
Some investors and securities
analysts were making "very bad decisions" by attempting to
"back into" Ladishs results with the High Performance
Metals data, resulting in "incorrect conclusions" about the
Cudahy, Wis., units performance, he added.
ATIs decision to drop High
Performance Metals shipments and prices leaves only one
major U.S. titanium producer disclosing this data: RTI
International Metals Inc. An RTI spokesman in Pittsburgh said
he wasnt aware of any plans to change its long-time
policy of reporting mill product shipments and average
However, for outsiders it means
that the main authority on domestic titanium shipments going
forward will be the U.S. Geological Survey. But industry
sources noted that the USGS titanium figures often appear as
long as three months after the end of a quarter.