24 September 2009 21:36 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US chlor-alkali production rates reached 85% of capacity in August, up from the July rate of 79%, a trade group said on Thursday.
US chlor-alkali output in August was 968,347 tons (878,479 tonnes) of chlorine and 1,034,811 tons of caustic soda, the Chlorine Institute said.
The uptick in chlor-alkali production was anticipated to improve chlorine and caustic soda supplies, relieving price stresses skewing both market segments as well as chlorine derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC), sources said.
Improving caustic soda and chlorine supply balance aided PVC buyers in achieving an atypical split contract settlement of 1.5 cents/lb ($33/tonne, €22/tonne) in August and 1.5 cents/lb in September. Suppliers originally sought 3 cents/lb for August and 2 cents/lb for September.
July PVC contract prices ranged in the mid-60s cents/lb, according global chemical market intelligence servie ICIS pricing.
PVC suppliers were able to achieve a full 3 cent/lb increase in July business on the strength of chlorine prices, sources said.
US chlor-alkali producers include Dow Chemical, Occidental Chemical, Formosa Plastics, Shintech, Georgia Gulf, Bayer, Olin and PPG Industries.
US polyvinyl chloride producers include most chlor-alkali producers.
($1 = €0.68)
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