05 October 2009 21:04 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US caustic soda contracts concluded thus far in October were steadily edging over September levels, market sources said on Monday.
Suppliers and other market players said October caustic soda contracts were absorbing most of a $60/dst (dry short ton) ($54/tonne, €37/tonne) on diaphragm-grade material and a portion of a $90/dst increase sought on membrane-grade material.
“September was bad,” one supplier said. “There wasn’t much material around and the fourth-quarter business hadn’t really gotten started yet.”
Sellers and traders continued to describe tight supply conditions on membrane-grade caustic soda.
“There just hasn’t been any membrane caustic around,” a seller said. “We had to go into the spot market a couple of times to get enough supply,” the source said.
Planned plant maintenance runs and higher demand for membrane-grade material were said to be fostering the tight supply.
Heavy caustic soda exporting to Europe and several other areas soaked up membrane-grade material as buyers in ?xml:namespace>
“Membrane appears to be regaining its premium and that is pushing up October contract levels,” sellers said.
US caustic soda contracts were last assessed in an August range of $125-200/dst by global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing. September’s contract range assessment by ICIS was pending at $150-200/dst, a slight gain over August.
US caustic soda producers include Formosa Plastics,
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