US February chlorinated solvent exports fall 57% year on year

13 April 2012 18:15  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US February 2012 exports of chlorinated solvents methylene chloride, perchloroethylene (perc) and trichloroethylene (TCE) fell by 57% year on year, according to data released on Friday by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Total exports of the three solvents were 7,790 tonnes, down from 18,145 tonnes for the same month a year ago.

Tight supply is the biggest factor in lower exports, as US plants are operating at near-full capacity and domestic demand is strong from the refrigerant liquids market.

Producers said export sales are strong, but US buyers are absorbing most of the material.

Among the solvents, methylene chloride exports experienced the biggest fall. February 2012 exports were 2,481 tonnes, down by 66% from 7,303 tonnes in February 2011.

Month on month, exports for the combined three solvents increased by 73%, from 4,504 tonnes in January.

On the import side, volumes fell by 42% to 4,625 tonnes in February 2012 from 8,006 tonnes in February 2011.

Tight supply globally because of healthy overseas demand, especially in Asia, limited import availability, sources said.

The biggest drop came from perc, which saw year-on-year exports fall by 45%, to 4,302 tonnes from 7,864 tonnes.

Month on month, combined imports for the three chemicals more than doubled, from 1,777 tonnes in January.

Major US sellers of the chlorinated solvents include Dow Chemical, INEOS Chlor, Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and PPG Industries.

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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