US Olin expects partial implementation of caustic soda hikes

29 January 2013 18:31  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Price increase initiatives for caustic soda contracts made in Q4 2012 by chlor-alkali producers failed to gain much traction, but there is still some chance that they may, the head of Olin said on Tuesday.

In a Q4 earnings conference call with analysts, Olin CEO and President Joseph Rupp said a variety of “legitimate” factors kept the price initiatives from going through in the last quarter of 2012.

Among those factors, Rupp said, were a mix of operating rates across the US chlor-alkali industry, from somewhere between 80% and 88%, and demand destruction due in part to logistical disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, which struck the US East Coast in October.

Beginning in late October, producers announced increases of between $30/dmt (dry metric tonne) (€22/dmt) and $50/dmt. At least one producer cited the logistical problems caused by Sandy as a reason for its proposed increase.

Rupp said he expected that the price initiatives would be at least partially implemented in Q4 2012. While that did not happen, he said, there is some expectation that there will be upward movement in caustic soda pricing in the first quarter of 2013.

 ($1 = €0.74)

Follow Ken Fountain (@ICIS_Ken) on Twitter.

By: Ken Fountain

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