US chlor-alkali production jumps to 88% in December

15 January 2013 21:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US chlor-alkali production in December rose by 5 percentage points to 88% of capacity month on month, a trade group said on Tuesday.

US chlor-alkali production in December was 1.00m tons (907,200 tonnes) of chlorine and 1.05m tons of caustic soda, according to The Chlorine Institute.

December’s jump in the overall production rate ended 2012 on a relatively strong note after producers spent most of the year operating in the low-to-mid 80s percent range.

The rise reflects a year-end strengthening in the US construction sector, which showed signs of rebounding after a year-long decline. Chlorine and its derivatives are used in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is used extensively in piping and other products used in homebuilding.

For the entire year, cumulative chlorine production was 11.4m tons of chlorine, a slight 1.7% decrease from the 11.6m tons produced in 2011, as well as 12.0m tons of caustic soda, down by 0.8% from the 12.1m tons produced in 2011.

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

Follow Ken Fountain (@ICIS_Ken) on Twitter.

By: Ken Fountain

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