US December chlor-alkali rate moves up to 81% - trade group

24 January 2012 18:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)—The US chlor-alkali production rate for December was 81%, up 4 percentage points from the November figure, a trade group said on Tuesday.

The Chlorine Institute's monthly production figures showed the December chlor-alkali output as 932,201 short tons (845,693 tonnes) of chlorine and 729,151 short tons of caustic soda.

The November chlor-alkali operating rate was 77%.

Some market participants expressed a bit of surprise at the year-end increase. One said that while still somewhat low, the December figure might represent plants building inventories to meet anticipated demand for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and ethyl dichloride (EDC), two of the downstream chlorine products.

US caustic soda prices are at $445470 /dry metric tonne (dmt) (€342.65361.90/dmt) FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf) as assessed by ICIS.

Major US chlor-alkali producers include Formosa Plastics USA, Georgia Gulf, Shintech, Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and Westlake.

($1 = €0.77)

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Ken Fountain

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