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.
Updated to Q2 2020
HCl supply was reduced in Q2 as demand for upstream products fell. The coronavirus pandemic reduced activity in the automobile sector and consumer consumption, which resulted in lower production of upstream isocyanates. As a result, production of HCl fell which tightened availability. In addition, there was a production issue affecting HCl supply in Iberia and the Mediterranean in June which caused domestic prices to increase.
HCl demand fell in Q2 on the back of the weaker economy. The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in business and consumer activity reduced consumption in a number of HCl applications such as chemical production, pulp and paper and steel. Countries with a dependence on tourism saw lower HCl usage.
Supply of US HCl moved down during the second quarter, though not as fast as demand. The near total halt in drilling activity in the US severely diminished demand for HCl into the oilfield, its largest end use. On-purpose producers of acid reduced output and producers of acid as a by-product reduced operating rates and production of acid, as well. But supply continued long against the weakened demand.
Demand for US HCl during the second quarter fell off to the extreme as oilfield drilling operations were largely curtailed and steel production lowered sharply. The coronavirus pandemic hit HCl demand particularly hard in its two largest demand sectors. Recovery has been slow to return with few lenders willing to give money for oilfield exploration and auto manufacturing expected to face years of weak new-vehicle demand. Demand for HCl into the agricultural sector was the only area not battered by coronavirus.
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.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Hydrochloric acid
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Hydrochloric acid
Track historical price data
News & analysis
News & market analysis specifically relating to Hydrochloric acid
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets. Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
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Hydrochloric Acid Methodology
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) can be produced in two ways, either by burning chlorine (burner grade) to produce semi-conductor or top of the range chemically pure strengths or as a by-product of various chlor-alkali processes.
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.
It has been a tough period for chlor-alkali producers as recent months showed a sharp downturn in margins for caustic soda. This scenario threatens to bring to an end the period of strong margins, despite some signs of a limited rebound earlier in Q4 2019. Across all major markets, calculated margins based on the co-production of caustic soda and ethylene dichloride (EDC) have weakened substantially since October 2018.
Like many others, if you are looking for ways to unveil answers to key industry questions then come and join us at the 24th World Chlor-alkali Conference organised by ICIS and Tecnon Orbichem. This 1.5 day event has been a home for key industry players in the value chain, having welcomed hundreds of delegates each year. Take a first look at the key offerings in 2020.