European sulphuric acid spot prices firm on export demand

26 March 2014 17:06 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European sulphuric acid export prices have moved out of negative territory following various exports to South America, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

Spot prices moved up by $5/tonne to $0-10/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (Northwest Europe), following exports to Brazil for Yara’s second quarter purchase tender which was agreed in the mid-$50s/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Rio Grande.

“The European market is balanced and the Brazil tender has moved volume out of Europe. On an FOB basis, I would say $0-10/tonne,” said an international acid trader.

Another trader selling acid internationally said: “I don't think there is anybody who is going to sell negative [out of Europe] unless they move tomorrow.

“Nothing much will happen now because CESCO Week is approaching. In Brazil, Timac, Yara and Mosaic will be quiet,” it added.

Indeed, Timac confirmed that its position was covered until May.

“Brazil is covered until the end of May, there is nothing to buy for Brazil,” the Timac source confirmed.

Sulphuric acid is derived from smelters, as well as elemental sulphur. Traded sulphuric acid is primarily by-product smelter acid. 

Sulphuric acid from elemental sulphur, produced as an involuntary product from oil and gas exploration, is largely used in fertilizer manufacturing and metal ore processing.

Other sulphuric acid end uses include, oil refining, wastewater processing, pulp and paper production, lead-battery acid manufacturing, nylon production, and chemical synthesis.

By Julia Meehan