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.
Updated to Q3 2019
Supply of caustic soda in Asia increased, with regional integrated chlor-alkali producers pushing run rates high. This was in order to output co-product chlorine into the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) after India, the world’s largest PVC import market, removed anti-dumping duties on PVC cargoes of all origins except China and the US in June. Northeast Asian (except China producers) have subsequently enjoyed better overall netbacks, despite increased supply of caustic soda outstripping regional demand.
Demand was muted, with industrial derivatives of caustic soda said to be seeing weakened interest in recent months amid a slowing global economy. Pockets of healthy demand were still seen however, such as from southeast Asia. Demand for caustic soda is driven by various industries, such as alumina refiners, rayon, and water treatment.
Caustic soda supply was stable or higher in the third quarter depending on the region. Stocks were below average historical levels according to Eurochlor’s July statistics, but the extent varied by region with market players in Iberia continuing to see healthy levels. European prices trended downwards overall for the quarter as the market moved closer to historical levels following an increase in 2017-2018. The longer global market also indirectly impacted Europe, with the Mediterranean market lengthening.
European caustic soda demand and consumption in related markets was lower in the third quarter, as a result of both seasonal and economic factors. Caustic soda demand tracks trends in the economy and manufacturing, with the outlook for both becoming both pessimistic in northwest and southern Europe. In the Mediterranean and Black Sea demand was lower with Turkish consumption slumping and southern Europe also impacted by higher economic uncertainty.
Caustic soda supply in Latin America in Q3 2019 was ample in most countries with the exception of Brazil, where large volumes of imports from the US and the Middle East resulted in oversupply in August, prompting suppliers to offer exports to other Latin American countries. Operating rates at Brazil’s Alunorte’s alumina refinery were at about 80% of capacity, while Jamaica’s alumina refiner Alpart decided to close its plant. Both refiners are major consumers of US caustic soda.
Caustic soda demand in Latin America during the quarter was sluggish mainly due to depressed economies in the region and reduced operating rates by Brazil’s Alunorte that only reached about 80% of capacity. Demand was strong in Brazil as local producer Braskem shut down its caustic soda plant due to shortage of salt resulting from subsidence at its Maceio, Alagoas mine. The producer is investigating different options to import salt and to mine in new locations in Brazil.
Supply of US liquid caustic soda began to decline during the third quarter as massive volumes of exports were shipped to Brazil. The increase in exports was due to a chlor-alkali plant outage in that country and the resumption of higher operating rates at Alunorte, the US’s largest single buyer of US exports. But the increased shipments only reduced what amounted to a significant supply overhang, moving the market closer to balance.
Demand during the third quarter grew on a chlor-alkali plant outage in Brazil. Domestic demand held relatively stable during the quarter with flooding on the Mississippi River slowing barge and other business.
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.
News & analysis
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settl ements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
Information is accessed online, via the ICIS dashboard service and is configurable to suit your preferences.
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
ICIS pricing intelligence is delivered to you online via the ICIS dashboard. Here you can view your reports and also access other useful services including related news, analysis, historical data and market alerts.
ICIS dashboard also makes it easy for you to create pricing charts, download price history and export data to create tailored analytical models.
ICIS weekly margin reports deliver the detail you need to understand how production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to judge the likely impact on your business and optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.
The Supply and Demand Window on the ICIS Dashboard provides a snapshot view of historical and forecast information for supply and demand, production capacity and trade flows – a key tool to help safeguard future investments within the chemicals market.
24-hour global coverage of breaking news in the petrochemical industry, including updates on production, shutdowns and key transacted deals, keeping you informed of market developments as they happen. The ICIS news service allows you to customise the market alerts delivered to your email inbox, providing the business-critical information you need straightaway.
If you want to keep updated on the factors driving price movements in the global chemical markets, ICIS Chemical Business provides a summary of the information you need to support your business decisions. Every week, our global team of experts digests and summarises the key issues and their potential impact on the market – all in one magazine.
An expert view of supply and demand comprising four fully-reconciled databases, giving you access to extensive data for more than 100 markets. Information is included on global and regional trade flows, production, capacity and sources of demand in the short-, medium- and long-term. Data can be downloaded, customised and queried to support your planning requirements and your strategic decisions.
ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
ICIS produces a series of highly informative and timely conferences. Extensive research is carried out to ensure that each programme delivers the information you need and addresses current industry issues. We source speakers who have the appropriate expertise and experience to deliver excellent quality papers.
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the ICIS consulting team deliver tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years’ experience of guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
ICIS expert consultants can provide your organisation with the insight, intelligence and data needed to build and grow your business in China. We can help you to gain a clear view on the short and long-term supply and demand picture in the chemicals, energy, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and paper and pulp markets in China.
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 Caustic soda, 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.
Caustic soda, with its co-product chlorine, is produced via an electrolysis of brine, in the ratio of one part chlorine to 1.1 parts 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.
Chlor alkali production in the US and Brazil
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Palm oil prices in Malaysia maintained a strong surge amid concerns over a sharp decline in production, making it difficult for discussions involving oleochemicals in Asia to gain...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Canada’s Interpipeline has completed 50% of the construction work at their new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) complex in Strathcona County, Alberta, Canada,...Read
This story has originally been published for ICIS Power Perspective subscribers on 06 December 2019 at 12:30 CET. Plunging power generation from traditional oil shale and further plant closures...Read
LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s INEOS Styrolution and US-based Agilyx are advancing the development of a polystyrene (PS) chemical recycling facility in Channahon, Illinois, capable of processing up to...Read