The ICIS Hydrochloric Acid report covers both the European and US markets and is published on a weekly basis. Both regions focus on pricing assessments for technical grade material.
Our locally based reporters analyse market news and intelligence to compile a report containing overviews, related product updates, production schedules, economic news and graphs. This is a valuable tool for you to use to support your commercial decision-making.
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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Hydrochloric acid: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
The European hydrochloric acid (HCl) market is largely stable, although regional disparities remain. The Spanish market is expected to return to more balanced conditions following the lifting of a force majeure at Covestro’s site in Tarragona, which caused some localised tightness and upward price pressure.
Meanwhile lengthy supply and stable demand continue to characterise northwest European markets. Annual contract settlements are expected to reach a conclusion in the first half of the quarter. Some sources noted some downward pressure on prices due to structural oversupply and ample availability of product in some regions, while others say they have largely settled steady prices for 2017. Players are looking to potential downstream developments which could impact European demand late in 2017, but the short-term outlook points to largely steady conditions.
The US hydrochloric (HCl) acid market is watching for a return of demand from the oilfield where low prices have reduced drilling demand and sent HCl prices to lows of nearly a 1 cent/lb for most of 2016. Prices did move slightly higher during Q4, but faltered as oil prices continued above $50/bbl. If oil prices continue to inch higher, drilling activity – up to 650 rigs in January from a low of 404 in May working in US energy fields – HCl prices are expected to move higher.
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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.