09 June 2011 22:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US caustic soda imports in April fell by 28% to 132,643 tonnes compared with 184,059 tonnes in March, according to data released by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday. ?xml:namespace>
The decline in imports to the US can be largely attributed to the 11 March Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
April imports to the US from Japan fell by 39% to 8,999 tonnes compared with 14,697 tonnes received by the US in March.
Asia caustic soda prices were about $375/dry metric tonne (dmt) (€259/dmt) CFR (cost and freight) SE (southeast) Asia in the first week of March, and then shot up to $485/dmt CFR SE Asia by the first week of April.
Escalating Asia prices caused US west coast caustic soda consumers, which rely on imports, to seek material from the US Gulf, according to traders.
In a year-on-year comparison, April imports fell by 10% compared with the 147,325 tonnes received by the US during the same month in 2010.
Excluding Canada, the top importers to the US were China, Taiwan and South Korea.
Chinese and Taiwanese imports to the US fell by 56% and 33%, respectively, in April compared with March.
($1 = €0.69)
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