European May chlorine climbs 1.3% - Euro Chlor

17 June 2010 18:05  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European average daily chlorine production in May increased by 1.3% from April levels, according to monthly figures released by official industry body Euro Chlor on Thursday.

May chlorine production reached 873,651 tonnes, a 14.3% increase year on year, while average daily output was reported at 28,182 tonnes.

Average capacity utilisation stood at 80.8% in May, compared with 69.3% in the same period last year.

This movement represents the second increase in a row for European chlorine production, although for the main part, producers continued to describe the market as balanced to short. 

Many market sources said the movement was to be expected as the traditional maintenance season was now drawing to a close and numerous plants had, or were in the process of restarting.

Equally, a number of producers agreed that despite an increase of 5.9% on April stock figures, May caustic soda stocks of 260,670 tonnes were too low for the European market to operate at a comfortable level.

This figure was 23.7% less that the stock levels of 341,485 tonnes seen in 2009, according to Euro Chlor. Several producers felt that inventories would need to be closer to 300,000 tonnes to guarantee problem-free supply to consumers.

One supplier outlined: “Stocks are so finely balanced right now and any unexpected outage or supply constraints, even if they are small, will really disrupt the market.”

However, one or two sellers conceded that, for the main part, the lacklustre demand was offsetting the lower availability, holding the market in a more balanced position.

This was echoed by a large buyer, who commented: “Although our requirements have increased slightly, there is still adequate supply to meet our needs at the moment. Souring additional quantities could be a problem, but I would not know as we do not have any need for them.”

 

EU 25 + Norway/Switzerland

Production & capacity utilisation

Month

Production (tonnes)

Capacity Utilisation (%)

 

2009

2010

% change

2009

2010

January

665,891

808,563

+21.4%

60.4%

74.7%

February

740,603

786,984

+6.3%

74.4%

80.5%

March

738,872

845,597

+14.4%

67.0%

78.2%

April

670,349

834,652

+24.5%

62.8%

79.7%

May

764,103

873,651

+14.3%

69.3%

80.8%


 

For more on caustic soda or chlorine, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Stephanie Wilson
+44 20 8652 3214



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