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Asia caustic soda prices are soaring on the back of tight supply and robust demand

April 27/2011

(ICIS) -- Asia caustic soda prices are soaring on the back of tight supply and robust demand, a trend that is expected to continue in the near term as downstream demand in northeast Asia grows, market sources said on Wednesday.


Spot prices were last assessed at USD 440-455/dry metric tonne (dmt) (EUR 299-309/dmt) on a free on board (FOB) northeast Asia basis on 22 April 2011, according to ICIS data. The figure is an increase of almost 50% from USD 290-310/dmt at the start of this year, and is more than double the USD 210-220/dmt seen at the end of April last year.


Global caustic soda demand in 2010 stood at 61.1m dmt and is set to rise this year, fuelled by growth in key consumption sectors for caustic soda such as alumina, detergents and textiles as well as pulp and paper production, market sources said.


A global average growth of 4% across all end-user segments is expected from 2010-2015, which will support prices, an industry source said.


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