06 March 2008 22:22 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Caustic soda producers in Brazil increased local prices by 24% on average this week amid an increasingly desperate supply crisis, market sources said on Thursday.
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The increase was substantially more than local producer Braskem’s price hike nomination of $90/DMT from mid-February, but a source close to the company said supply conditions have tightened further in recent weeks.
In order to maintain high production levels, Brazil’s buyers have grown increasingly dependent on caustic soda imports from major producers in the US and China, sources said.
Yet to the dismay of buyers, imports have slowed to a trickle this quarter, and
“The price is strengthening mainly because of tight supply all over the world,” one producer said.
Sources said import prices this week jumped to $570-630/DMT CFR, an 11% increase over last week’s assessment, according to ICIS pricing.
Brazilian caustic soda producers include Carbocloro, Braskem, Solvay, PanAmerica, Dow, Aracruz, and Canexus.
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