Hydrochloric acid Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis for the global Hydrochloric acid market. Our network of price reporters, based in Asia, Europe and the US, deliver local insight for each of these markets, which is published in our individual weekly and daily price reports.
If you buy or sell Hydrochloric acid or related products, our reports, news and market intelligence will give you the prices and analysis of the factors driving the prices that you need to make confident commercial decisions.
Our editor gives their expert view
Hydrochloric acid Overview Transcript
The hydrochloric acid that we analyse in the ICIS report is known as by-product, technical or waste acid or 30-33% solution and it is the by-product of various chlor-alkalai processes such as the manufacture of toluene diisocyantate, ethylene diamine , vinyl chloride monomer, methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate and polyvinyl chloride.
The main end uses are the pickling of steel, pulp and paper, food uses, chemical and water treatment, and oil extraction.
The main drivers in the market are supply and demand; energy costs can also have a huge impact, due to the peculiarities of logistics, as the product is mostly transported in rubber trucks.
Most markets in Europe have seen relatively stable prices throughout 2010 and early 2011 but the Mediterranean market, which is more volatile, has shown a mostly firm tendency.
In the future we expect to see a supply deficit in Spain and Germany. This is because of the construction of new coagulant plants next to hydrochloric acid facilities which will take the product directly by pipeline into a water treatment facility.
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Hydrochloric acid news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Hydrochloric acid analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Hydrochloric acid marketplace.
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News & analysis
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Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Hydrochloric acid: Market overview
2014 contract price negotiations for the European hydrochloric acid (HCl) market are likely to conclude towards the end of January, following the Christmas lull and holiday period. Some contracts have already been settled at a rollover and most other sources are also expecting a rollover from 2013 prices, as the market is mature, well supplied and demand is not anticipated to grow in 2014. Nevertheless, HCl producers say that a price rollover is technically equivalent to a price reduction, because of higher transport and energy costs. Buyers said a rollover for 2014 prices reflects supply and demand fundamentals.
After weeks of downward pricing pressure in the US HCl market, based on lengthening supply, a plant outage and new capacity coming on stream in Louisiana made the market difficult to assess. A fire and release of HCl as well as other chlorine compounds at an Axiall plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on 20 December brought fears of supply shortages. The issue persisted through the first two weeks of 2014 and customers have been told that the plant is likely to remain out of commission for several weeks and perhaps months. This situation has been slightly offset by new supply being brought online by Westlake Chemicals, which opened a 350,000 electrochemical unit (ECU)/year plant in Geismar, Louisiana. Prices were holding steady as market participants tried to clarify the near-term outlook.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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Hydrochloric Acid Methodology
About Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid can be manufactured by direct synthesis where hydrogen and chlorine are reacted in a burner to produce hydrogen chloride. However, much hydrochloric acid is produced as a by-product of other processes such as vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), chlorinated methanes and ethanes, and fluorocarbons.
Applications for hydrochloric acid include steel manufacture where is used as a pickling agent, food manufacture in the canning process, and brick cleaning and concrete etching. It is also used in pulp and paper, chemical and water treatment, the electronics industry and pharmaceuticals. Domestic uses include many household cleaning products.
Hydrochloric acid presents a number of hazards as it is corrosive and can cause serious burns to skin and eyes. Personal protective equipment should always be worn when handling hydrochloric acid.