18 March 2011 20:07 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Caustic exports from the US Gulf Coast were rapidly moving in wake of the Japanese disaster, sources said on Friday.
Earlier in the week, one US trader noted anxiety from buyers trying to source material.
By Friday, demand for caustic was high as enquiries from Australia were now surfacing for US Gulf caustic.
By one estimate, the global caustic supply was now short of 100,000 tonnes per month as a result of the Japanese outages.
Japan’s Asahi Glass Co (AGC) has shut its caustic soda plants at ?xml:namespace>
One US producer said inventories were shedding quickly through the export market and expected prices to rise by next week.
A US source said China and Korea both were out of export material, leaving the previously tight to balanced US caustic market up for grabs.
Another market source said a spot transaction was concluded this week as high as $400/dry metric tonne (dmt) FOB (free on board) US Gulf.
“It’s wild,” a trader said.
The trader said the spike in spot export prices would likely continue for the next few months.
However, another market source described the activity as a “knee-jerk reaction,” saying that an Australian user was looking to secure spot cargoes before the 11 March disaster struck.
Meanwhile, increases between $35-40/dry short ton (dst) were being sought in US domestic caustic contracts.
A caustic buyer said on Friday that so far, those increases have not been implemented in the market.
($1 = €0.71)
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