March US chlor-alkali production rates at 92%

22 April 2011 20:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US chlor-alkali operating rates for March were at 92%, in line with market expectations of healthy operating rates, sources said on Friday.

US trade group Chlorine Institute released its monthly production statistics for chlorine and caustic soda, noting that March was slightly higher than February’s operating rate of 89%.

March’s chlor-alkali output was 1.042m short tons (946,076 tonnes) of chlorine and 1.087m short tons (986,389 tonnes) of caustic soda, according to Chlorine Institute.

Major producers were running at high rates to keep up with strong global demand in the export markets, sources said.

One major buyer said the upward trend in operating rates indicated more caustic availability.

February figures showed an operating rate of 89%, which was slightly lower than March because of unusually cold weather in the US Gulf .

Chlorine is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a widely used plastic, particularly in piping, construction and housing applications.

Caustic soda is a co-product of chlorine and has a broad variety of chemical applications, including the pulp and paper industry and in water treatment.

PVC export prices were assessed at $1,170-1,250/tonne FOB USG (free on board, US Gulf). Caustic soda export prices were assessed at $400-430/dry metric tonne (dmt) FOB USG.

Major US chlor-alkali producers include OxyChem, Olin, Shintech, Formosa and Dow. 

Monthly US chlor-alkali production statistics













Source: Chlorine Institute

($1 = €0.69)

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
For more on the chlor-alkalis visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Ruth Liao
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