11 September 2009 16:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--The hydrochloric acid (HCl) market in Europe's Benelux area is tightening on the back of a six-week plant maintenance shutdown in the region, market sources said on Friday.
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The shutdown at the unit, which produces around 15,000 tonnes of by-product HCl per month, was due to last until mid-October, according to sources.
“It’s starting to get difficult to deliver to customers on time,” said one Netherlands-based distributor.
Other suppliers reported trying to source HCl from outside the region, but this would increase logistical costs and likely increase prices to buyers.
Sources said they had not seen any change in prices thus far, but expectations were that customers on lower-priced contracts would likely see price increases over the course of the closure, as well as higher logistical costs pushing numbers up.
Prices were currently in the €100-120/tonne ($145-174/tonne) FD (free delivered) range in Belgium/Netherlands for by-product, or technical grade, HCl, distributor sources said.
Sources added that the shutdown came as supply in the region was already restricted by reduced production from Tessenderlo in
HCl can either be produced by burning chlorine or as a by-product of various chlor-alkali and fluorocarbon processes and potassium sulphate production.
($1 = €0.69)
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