19 July 2013 22:49 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Spot and export prices for US caustic soda were assessed lower on a notional basis on Friday, as market sources said more material was becoming available.
A force majeure declared by Norsk Hydro at its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil has caused that company to reject some caustic soda that it had previously secured.
Meanwhile, material was said to be coming from Europe to the US east coast after months of tightness. However, the amount of material and its time of delivery were unknown.
US spot barge prices are assessed by ICIS at $370-420/dst (dry short ton), and export prices are assessed at $370-420/dst as well.
Market participants continue to negotiate a series of price increase initiatives by producers of $40/dst (dry short ton) for caustic soda in the second quarter of 2013.
Producers have cited tightness in supply, caused by both production and logistical issues, and steady demand from most consumer sectors as reasons for the initiatives.
But many buyers have resisted the price initiatives, saying their demand is soft and that material is more available than producers claim.
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