China caustic soda exports to grow by 7% in 2012 – Tricon

05 November 2012 11:58  [Source: ICIS news]

BEIJING (ICIS)--Caustic soda exports from China in 2012 are estimated to be around 1.5m dry metric tonne (dmt), a 7% growth from the figure recorded in 2011, at 1.4m dmt/year, Shi Wei Min, general manager of Tricon Energy (China), said in Mandarin on Monday.

Shi Wei Min was speaking at the 1st China Chlor-Alkali conference organised by the China Chlor-Alkali Industry Association (CCAIA) and its subsidiary CCAON, in Beijing.

China’s total caustic soda capacity is expected around 35m tonnes in 2012, rising by 4m tonnes from 2011, Shi added.

“Chlor-alkali plants that are close to coastal area export up to 70% of their production,” Shi said.

The target markets for caustic soda exports are Australia, southeast Asia, India and the US west coast, according to Shi.

Australia, which has a developed alumina industry, imports over 2.2m dmt of caustic soda per year, 90% of which are long-term contracts, Shi said.

“Imports from China to Australia are over 600,000 dmt up to September 2012, compared to more than 550,000 dmt in 2011," Shi added.

In Asia, India imports 200,000 dmt/year while southeast Asia, imports 250,000 dmt/year of caustic soda, said Shi.

In addition, the US west coast and Canada imports 800,000 dmt/year of caustic soda from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China.

There will be some challenges faced in 2013 as the cost advantage in the US will lead to increased exports to Australia, according to Shi.

“The depressed chlorine market might also affect caustic soda operating rate and price,” Shi added.

The 1st China International Chlor-Alkali conference runs from 5-6 November.

By: Feliana Widjaja
+65 6780 4327

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