29 May 2009 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--European caustic soda spot prices fell by $50/dmt (dry metric tonne) (€36/dmt) on the back of extremely long supply and flat demand, both sellers and consumers said on Friday.
Spot numbers were at $150-200/dmt FOB (free on board) for both volumes sold into northwest Europe and the Mediterranean, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
“Demand from all the major applications [pulp and paper, alumina manufacture] is really weak and this is driving prices down,” said one producer. “This will remain the case unless chlorine [a co-product of caustic soda] output is cut accordingly.”
However, one buyer felt that the majority chlorine manufacturers were already operating at minimum rates and that supply would remain long into the third-quarter.
“They [chlor-alkali producers] are pushing increases through on [downstream chlorine product] PVC [polyvinyl chloride] and that is becoming a tight market...they cannot afford to cut rates back any further...we are beginning to see the markets reverse.”
($1 = €0.72)
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