Our Caustic Soda reports are published weekly in Asia, China, Europe, Latin America and the US, giving industry participants a truly global view of market movements.
There are solid and liquid spot quotations, depending on the region, and market news including information on shipping, international trade, upstream and downstream movements, as well as production issues. This analysis and intelligence equips you with the information you need to make vital business assessments.
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Caustic soda news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Caustic soda analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Caustic soda marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Caustic soda
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Caustic soda
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News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Caustic soda
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Caustic soda: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2017
Supply was expected to be tighter from northeast Asia. Japanese and South Korean producers would have little to none spot availability to the end of the year. Chinese supply was unlikely to improve much due to various reasons. First, chlorine situation was expected to remain very sluggish, which would continue curb the operating rates of chlor-alkali lines. Second, more stringent environmental inspections are expected in China during the winter season.
Demand was expected to be stable. Globally alumina price is on a high level which will continue to see high operating rates of alumina producers, which keep their appetite for caustic soda, particularly from Australia. In southeast Asia, buyers are also actively looking for cargoes for other industrial uses.
Updated to Q4 2017
The European caustic soda market is most likely to be heading for a period of extended tightness due to the upcoming phasing-out of mercury cell capacity. Large-scale closures are scheduled or widely anticipated to take place in Spain and central/eastern Europe. As a result, producers have separately announced large quarterly increases.
European caustic soda demand is expected to be broadly stable for most Q4, although December is typically a quieter period for the industry as a whole. Demand in general has picked up in 2017 due to the stronger economic performance of the eurozone, but there are no clear indicators on whether this will continue into the next quarter.
Updated to Q4 2017
The supply outlook for caustic soda in Latin America for the fourth quarter of 2017 suggests finely balanced availability in the region, in the face of a generally tightening global market. However, sources are not expecting any major supply issues in Latin America, despite tight markets in Europe, Asia and the US.
Caustic soda demand in Latin America is expected to increase in the fourth quarter on concerns about rising prices amid snug supply in the US, particularly after the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in the US Gulf coast. The firming trend in the US is expected to extend into Latin America, as US product is exported to Mexico, Brazil and other destinations in the region.
Updated to Q4 2017
Supply was knocked down when Hurricane Harvey knocked out several US production plants in the Texas Gulf Coast. Producers are in the process of rebuilding inventory, but supply is expected to be slim for the remainder of the year.
The end of bleach season for water treatment will mildly suppress demand during the fourth quarter.
News & analysis
Caustic soda news & analysis
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Caustic Soda Methodology
About Caustic soda
Caustic soda is a white, deliquescent solid in various forms with no odour. It is very soluble in ethyl alcohol and water. It is a strong base, reacts violently with acid and is corrosive in moist air to metals like zinc, aluminium, tin and lead forming a combustible/explosive gas (hydrogen). It rapidly absorbs carbon dioxide and water from air while contact with moisture or water may generate heat.
Its main uses are in the manufacture of pulp and paper, alumina, soap and detergents, petroleum products and chemical production. Other applications include water treatment, food, textiles, metal processing, mining, glass making and others.
The production of alumina from bauxite is a major end-use application for caustic soda.
Caustic soda is a basic feedstock in the manufacture of a wide range of chemicals. It is used as an intermediate and a reactant in processes that produce solvents, plastics, synthetic fibres, bleach, adhesives, coatings, herbicides, dyes, inks and pharmaceuticals.
Other uses include the saponification or conversion of fat, tallow and vegetable oils in soap manufacture, and in the manufacture of surfactants for detergents. It is used in the petroleum and natural gas industries to remove acidic materials from hydrocarbons and off-gases. In the textile sector, it is used in the chemical processing of cotton and the dyeing of synthetic fibres.