Sulphuric acid Prices, markets & analysis
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Sulphuric acid: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2015
The sulphuric acid market looks set to remain stable as supply from Northwest Europe improves; however, this is expected to be counterbalanced by healthy downstream demand and ongoing long-term contract commitments for the export market.
Domestic contract pricing will remain unchanged now that biannual contracts have been agreed at rollover levels for the second half of 2015.
Globally, the market could experience a surge in interest as Petrobras in Brazil looks to secure 60,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid from Q4 2015 to Q3 2016. Fertinal in Mexico is also expected to come to the market during the fourth quarter for possibly five or six cargoes in order to cover a planned shutdown at its two sulphuric acid plants in Lazaro Cardenas on the west coast of Mexico.
According to sources in major importing country Chile, the market looks to be covered for at least the third quarter.
In Turkey, the Toros burner, which was due to come on-stream in April 2015, has since been delayed and is now not expected to be operational until September/October. This will keep Toros as a buyer in the acid market for the coming months, supporting exports and prices of smelter acid from Bulgaria.
The US Gulf will remain balanced, with no major turnarounds noted.
In Asia, a few months of uncertainty await market participants, with the new supply from the Glencore owned PASAR smelter in the Philippines due to come to market during the quarter. Producers will be nervously watching to see how much spot material is available, while Southeast Asian buyers may be well placed for competitively priced spot tonnes.
News & analysis
Sulphuric acid news & analysis
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Sulphuric acid, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Sulphuric Acid Methodology
About Sulphuric acid
A key use of sulphuric acid is for the production of fertilizers. Other uses include the production of carbon disulphide, sulphur dioxide and phosphorous pentasulphide; pulp and paper; and rubber vulcanising. Sulphuric acid can also be used in its diluted form as battery acid for the automotive sector.
Sulphuric acid is colourless in appearance and of an oily liquid consistency. It is both corrosive and toxic and has the ability to cause serious burns. In addition, it is harmful through inhalation, ingestion and through skin contact.