Chlorine Problems Threaten Tightness For Caustic Soda

The caustic soda market has seen a tightness in supply in most regional markets lately. Producers in the US have been reporting a very tight market situation, particularly for membrane grade, and have been pushing pricing levels higher. Some of this supply tightness has come from reduced operating rates due to slower chlorine markets, but there have also been some outages.

There have also been some capacity closures – although some of the official announcements were simply confirming the closure of already idled capacity. These announcements were mostly prompted by changes in company ownership. In the past couple of years, Olin purchased Dow’s US based assets, making them the number one producer in the world. More recently Westlake purchased Axiall.

EDC exports out of the US have increased in the first quarter supported by demand pull from Asian markets, although tightening supply out of the US Gulf (and falling prices in Asia) could have an impact on exports during the second quarter. Supply of PVC in the US remains on the tight side amid several outages, this has restricted the availability of product for exports. In West Europe, outages and conversions have also affected utilisation rates in the last few months, although supply is likely to improve towards the summer. In Asia, PVC demand is expected to slow down in June due to Ramadan and the monsoon season.

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Since 1981 – The World’s First Market Monitoring Service to the Chlor- Alkali Industry

Tecnon OrbiChem is pleased to announce enhanced product coverage for subscribers to its monthly Chlor-Alkali & Vinyls consulting service.

From May 2017, we launched a new Caustic Soda Chemical Business Focus (CBF) that will offer enhanced and focused coverage of this market, with new pricing series and extended commentary.

At the same time, a new Chlorine & Derivatives CBF dedicated to chlorine and its major derivatives markets is being launched, also with expanded analysis in terms of prices, commentary and product coverage for Chlorine, HCl, Vinyls, Isocyanates, Propylene Oxide and Epichlorohydrin.

In the coming months we will also be launching a significant upgrade to our on-line databases for both Chlorine & Derivatives and Caustic Soda and, of course, Tecnon OrbiChem’s single client services remain available for Individual Project Studies on all aspects of the Chlor-Alkali industry.

For more information or to request a sample please contact

Angel fernandez
Angel Fernandez
Business Manager – Oxo Products, Orthoxylene, Phthalic Anhydride, UPR, Chlorine & Derivatives, Caustic Soda


Janet Wright-8_v2
Janet Wright
Senior Consultant – Caustic Soda

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