05 June 2009 15:20 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--German hydrochloric acid (HCl) spot prices have decreased by up to €35-40/tonne ($49-56/tonne) on the back of improved supply and weak demand, market sources said on Friday.
Sources said spot material was currently available on the German market at €60-65/tonne FD (free delivered).
These prices were down from spot indications at €100/tonne FD in early/mid-May, they added.
The fall in spot numbers was attributed to an improvement in supply.
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Sources said that other producers also had excess material available at present.
Producers were holding higher stocks levels due to a number of public holidays over the past month which allowed inventories to build up due to deliveries being halted on those days, they said.
They added that demand had dropped off, particularly from the steel sector, a major consumer in
This situation was in stark contrast to the market a month ago when availability was described as tight due to the closure at BASF and other production issues, which saw spot prices at €100/tonne FD, sources said.
In addition, while for most of the year HCl supply has constricted at a faster rate than demand due to cutbacks in isocyanate and chlorine derivative production, sources said that demand had now caught up.
HCl is a by-product of isocyanate and chlorine derivative production.
The main end-uses of HCl are steel pickling/metallurgy, pulp and paper, chemical treatment and water treatment. Other applications include neutralisation, electronics, pharmaceutical manufacture, food processing and oil refining.
($1 = €0.71)
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