Sulphuric acid Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS offers trusted and reliable market intelligence for those buying or selling Sulphuric acid or related products in the global Sulphuric acid market.
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Sulphuric acid: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2014
In Europe, the market is expected to remain balanced, with Brazil and Chile levelling out the European market – both countries are now covered for the time being, although international traders are expecting Chile in particular to return to the market during the second half of the year. Export prices continue to move away from a negative, with prices around $5-10/tonne FOB NWE, and prices are now expected to remain steady. During the second half of the year, there are very few smelter turnarounds planned, with most completed during the first half of the year. On a contract basis, prices from Q2 to Q3 are expected to roll over, although some sources have spoken of increases of €1-5/tonne.
In Asia, prices are steady, albeit on the low side. Volumes are moving as planned to the Taganito nickel project in Japan, which is supporting the market there. Inventory levels continue to improve in South Korea following the restart of LS Nikko’s number-two copper smelter. In Thailand demand is steady, although some short-term tightness might be felt owing to a planned outage at Ube. In China, buyers that are able prefer to use sulphuric acid rather than sulphur owing to the high price of sulphur versus the low cost of acid. In Oceania, Ranger uranium mine resumed operations in Australia and demand is therefore expected to improve, with acid possibly moving from South Korea.
In the North American market, third-quarter and second-half 2014 contracts are expected to settle at a rollover, but the market will be tight in the third quarter on the Kennecott outage in September. There are several other smaller outages that will also tighten the market. Import prices may increase again as spot demand is expected to strengthen due to the outages.
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.
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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.