RTI delays projects

RTI International Metals is delaying a major expansion project in light of the current economic uncertainties and the overall short-term softening in demand for titanium. The US-based firm initially had planned to open two new facilities, including a forging and rolling plant in Virginia and a sponge plant in Mississippi in 2010. RTI expects mill product shipments for 2008 to range between 14 million and 15 million lbs, slightly lower than 2007 and not the 2.5% to 3% growth rate previously expected. That matches with new Wall Street estimates that industrywide mill product purchasing will rise just 1% this year to 73.5 billion lbs. RTI’s mill product shipments for the third quarter were 3.4 million lbs, at an average realized price of USD 23.04/lb. The average realized price was 14% lower versus the same quarter in the prior year, primarily due to the change in the sales mix and increased sales related to long-term supply agreements. The company now expects its expansion projects to be operational in 2011.
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