06 June 2013 16:27 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Northern African liquid caustic soda prices have dropped by $20/dmt (€15/dmt) to $430-450/dmt free on board (FOB) North Africa because of better availability in the Mediterranean caused by imports from the Middle East and northern Europe, one producer and one buyer confirmed on Thursday.
According to one Egyptian producer, there have been several shipments from the Middle East to the Mediterranean and from the US to western Europe, which were also distributed to southern Europe, causing prices to fall.
Most market participants are now looking at Middle Eastern developments and are eager to find out how the new Sahara & Ma’aden Petrochemicals Co (SAMAPCO) plant will influence supply fundamentals.
The SAMAPCO 250,000 tonne/year caustic soda unit started up in the Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia on 16 April. Once the plant reaches full output, some observers think it will make the Middle Eastern market long.
Currently the Middle East is balanced to tight because of a maintenance shutdown at Saudi Petrochemical Co's (Sadaf) 710,000 tonne/year caustic soda site. The exact duration of the shutdown is not known, and a company source could not confirm when it would restart.
($1 = €0.76)
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