Titanium Deal Snagged to Fight Supply Woes
With a booming civil and military aviation market, Boeing is shoring up the reliability of its access to titanium stock. Purchasing.com notes that Boeing is not only securing deals for itself to guarantee access to semiprocessed titanium mill products, but is also making sure that its top suppliers are also taken care of. The titanium contract restructuring brings in TMX Aerospace as a central supplier, drawing inventory from the two biggest producers, Titanium Metals Corp. of Denver and Russia’s Verkhnaya Salda Metallurgical Production Association. If needed, Boeing will also buy supply from spot market suppliers Allvac, of Monroe, NC and RTI International Metals, of Niles, OH.
Another report quotes an Eaton Aerospace executive as summing up the tightening market situation:
“We’re getting pinched between some very dramatically escalating material costs and leadtime extensions.”
Purchasing.com reports that titanium demand is up 17 percent from just last year, with the Titanium Association estimating 2005 use at 50 million pounds. Commercial aviation, defense and general industry each use about a third of that production.
Next up on the materials hot list: aluminum, nickel alloys, stainless steel, copper and brass.