EPCA ’13: US caustic soda supply tight into Q1 2014: exec

06 October 2013 17:56  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--US caustic soda supply will be tight in the fourth quarter of 2013 and first quarter of next year as chlorine operating rates fall further from current levels that were expected to be higher, an executive with chlor-alkali producer Olin said on Sunday.

Chlorine production rates were at 83% in July and 85% in August, according to The Chlorine Institute.

But producers such as Olin had expected chlorine demand would push those to 88-95% during the summer, said Marvin Osborne Jr, director of marketing for caustic soda, on the sidelines of the 47th annual European Petrochemical Association meeting.

That demand did not surface, and now the caustic soda industry heads into the typically slower fourth quarter facing a tight market for the co-product of chlorine production, he said.

“We know chlorine demand is going to drop off [further], therefore caustic availability will be less,” Osborne said.

Some producers are even buying caustic soda to meet Q4 demand, he said.

Olin instituted an order control because of “relative tightness” in availability of the product.

“We expect [the order control] to continue at least through the fourth quarter until we see chlorine demand pickup,” he said.

The EPCA meeting runs 5-9 October.

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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