23 September 2013 00:00 [Source: ICB]
FMC has added South Africa to the list of export markets where it is placing a $30/tonne (€23/tonne) price increase for Grade 260 dense soda ash and Grade 100 light soda ash, immediately or as contract terms permit, the company confirmed on 10 September.
The move comes as US producers are intending to raise prices by $15/tonne for domestic customers and by $30/tonne for export through the American Natural Soda Ash Corp (ANSAC), the international distribution arm of three major US producers.
ANSAC governs US export pricing for FMC Wyoming, OCI Chemical and Tata Chemicals North America to all international markets except western Europe and South Africa.
ANSAC had handled exports to South Africa until it settled anti-competitive allegations in 2009. US producers now handles exports to the country individually.
South Africa gets about half of its 550,000 tonnes/year demand from neighbouring Botswana, where Botswana Ash has a plant with a nameplate capacity of 300,000 tonnes, said Bill Breunig, director of sales and marketing for FMC’s alkali chemical division.
US producers export about 147,000 tonnes to South Africa annually, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
The US industry is entering the annual negotiating season for the coming year’s contract. Prices negotiated by the end of November or early December will govern delivery prices in 2014.
The current ICIS-assessed price for US soda ash loaded at the Texas Gulf Coast is $180-200/tonne FOB (free on board).
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