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Updated to Q1 2017
In the US, sulphuric acid prices firmed slightly in Q1 on the low end, bringing the range to $40-45/tonne CFR US Gulf.
Southeast consumer contracts for the first quarter were understood weaker on the low end than Q4 of 2016.
In the domestic market, the west coast region saw length typical for the time of year during the rainy season. In the last month of the quarter, some of this length was lifting and the North American markets began to see the first hints of tightness as plants undergo and prepare for maintenance.
Glencore’s Savannah, Georgia tanks were behind schedule on being able to take tonnes. An alternative transload setup has been established in the meantime.
Freeport-McMoRan’s smelter turnaround is scheduled to begin in April.
Chemtrade will restart its Augusta, Georgia sulphuric acid plant based on a new long-term agreement for oleum supply. It will begin restart immediately and hopes that by May it will reach previous production rates.
In Canada, CEZinc at Valleyfield ran at reduced rates due to an employee strike in February. Smelter operators issued a force majeure on deliveries from the plant, but it is unclear if that includes acid as well as metals and the time period.
Chemtrade said that it expects Vale's Copper Cliff smelter to produce between 100,000-150,000 tonnes less sulphuric acid this year as a result of the shutdown of one of its two furnaces. The shutdown is expected in April.
Updated to Q1 2017
The global sulphuric acid market was flat to firm in the first quarter of 2017, with maintenance and consistent demand balancing factors.
In Europe, Moroccan acid buyer OCP helped balance the market, taking well over 100,000 tonnes/month in the opening months of the year. While European volumes were prominent, tonnes were also pulled from India and Canada.
In Asia, Indian contract negotiations took place during the quarter, with nearly all settled, and negative netbacks seen in all supply regions. However, spot prices were firming by the end of the quarter, with prices edging back into positive FOB values.
The US market was balanced to tight owing to a series of scheduled maintenance works in Canada.
The World Sulphuric Acid Weekly new look report contains 16 benchmark sulphuric acid price assessments and covers international trade across Europe, Asia and the US.
Included in the report are shipping fixtures and smelter outages, along with coverage of upstream sulphur and downstream fertilizers and chemicals. Coverage and attention is also paid to the base metals market and price developments for copper, zinc and nickel. Sulphuric acid import and export statistics are also published.
The report tackles all events likely to impact the global sulphuric acid market, including price developments, trade flows, as well as supply and demand balances.
The information in the report is gathered by talking to suppliers, traders and consumers from around the world, in addition to our own industry experts covering markets related to sulphuric acid.
All these developments are thoroughly analyzed on a weekly basis. The report is beneficial to our customers because it is the most comprehensive analysis of this crucial market.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Sulphuric acid. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
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 Sulphuric acid, 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.