19 October 2009 21:48 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--?xml:namespace>
The production dip was caused by a planned maintenance at one supplier’s plant and soft demand from the vinyl sector, a source said.
Chlorine production is the typical driver for building a chlor-alkali plant, with caustic soda considered a co-product and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) the primary chlorine derivative, a major producer said.
PVC market participants recently hoped that high feedstock chlorine prices would edge back down in the fourth-quarter, since overall chlor-alkali production is anticipated to track toward traditional capacity utilisation rates of 90% and upward, sources said.
Third-quarter chlorine contract prices ranged $390-410/st (short ton and $354-372/tonne or €237-249/tonne), almost double the first quarter 2009 price, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
In other chlor-alkali products, caustic soda spot export prices were in the $135-155/dmt (dry metric ton) range, while pipe-grade PVC contracts were unchanged from September at 63-65 cents/lb, according to ICIS pricing.
US chlor-alkali producers include Dow Chemical, Occidental Chemical, Formosa Plastics,
US PVC producers include most of the chlor-alkali producers.
($1 = €0.67)
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