31 August 2009 18:22 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US caustic soda spot export prices quadrupled during the second half of August as supplier production cuts and a buying rush reduced available material, market sources said on Monday.
Free on board (FOB) US Gulf (USG) caustic soda spot export prices were assessed at $100-115/dry metric tonne (€70-81/dmt), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
The range consisted of thin trading of several 3,000-5,000 tonne shipments as well as a few at 500 tonnes, sources said.
“Nobody is selling under $100/dmt now,” one supplier said.
During the first week of August, producers were complaining about caustic soda prices headed under $25/dmt, but a buying frenzy of huge volumes moving out of the US Gulf at very low prices prompted buyers to test the market bottom.
With substantial supply removed as a result of the bargain basement buying spree, new increases quickly took effect as suppliers have cut back production levels in an effort to move inventories toward balance.
Traders said first half September position prices were widely skewed from second half August and there was more negotiating than finished transactions at this point.
US caustic soda producers include Dow Chemical, Occidental Chemical, Formosa Plastics, Bayer, ?xml:namespace>
($1 = €.70)For more on caustic soda, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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