Import spot prices for USG sulphuric acid steady amid balanced market

26 March 2014 19:55 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Spot prices for sulphuric acid tonnes in the US Gulf remain at $45-55/tonne CFR (cost and freight)/ex-terminal as assessed by ICIS on Wednesday, with the area well-supplied.

However, other areas of the US domestic market are heard to be experiencing some tightness.

DuPont and Solvay were heard to have floated a $15/tonne increase for spot sulphuric acid tonnes within select markets domestically, but sources in the US Gulf and southeast were doubtful the increase could be achieved in those regions.

The northeast, Midwest and southwest are heard to be tighter than those well-supplied areas, and there is unconfirmed talk that another major producer, Chemtrade, may have achieved the increase in the Midwest.

The northeast and Midwest are heard tight due to logistical issues related to inclement weather. Sources said that prices may also rise in the southwest due to the ASARCO Hayden smelter pulling back tonnes from the market to use internally.

However, import activity is heard to be quiet in the US Gulf. That area is balanced with no unplanned maintenance heard and demand heard covered. The increase earlier this month was heard due to a balancing European market and increases in freight rates rather than excess demand.

While export prices are heard to have firmed from supplier market Europe, these increases were achieved in South America and participants do not see another change before the Q2 sulphur settlement.

By David Tonyan