29 May 2008 11:25 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--South Korea’s Hanwha Chemicals will not be exporting any caustic soda cargoes to the US in June after a power outage at its ethylene supplier disrupted production earlier this month, a source close to the company said on Thursday. ?xml:namespace>
The company usually exported around 6,000 dry tonnes of caustic soda a month to the ?xml:namespace>
Hanwha was likely to resume exports to the US in July, with initial offers at more than $530/tonne FOB (free on board) NE Asia (northeast Asia), he added.
The company was forced to run its 550,000 tonne/year caustic soda plant in Yeosu at reduced operating rates for more than a week after ethylene supplier Yeochun Naphtha Cracking Center (YNCC) shut down its crackers following a power outage.
Ethylene is not used in the production of caustic soda but it is used in combination with chlorine, a by-product of the caustic soda production process, to form other derivatives such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Because chlorine, which is gaseous at room temperature, cannot be readily stored in large volumes, the production rate of caustic soda is limited by how quickly chlor-alkali producers can utilise the chlorine gas.
Asian caustic soda was last week assessed at $440-450/tonne FOB (free on board) northeast
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