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US May caustic soda exports fall on month as prices rise

July 31/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US caustic soda exports fell 23% in May from April, as prices rose compared with other major producing regions, reported S&P Gllobal with reference to the latest US International Trade Commission data,released in July.

The US exported 554,991 mt of caustic soda in April, down 2.6% from March as chlor-alkali rates fell to April's 68% from March's 90% on sharply lower demand for chlorine and downstream products made with it. Those products include construction staple polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and hydrochloric acid, used in oil and gas production, as construction and oil and gas activity cratered amid widespread global shutdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Caustic soda, a key feedstock in alumina and pulp and paper industries, is a byproduct of chlorine production.

However, as economies began reopening in May, caustic soda exports slid further despite industry data that showed chlor-alkali rates rebounded to 75%.

Market sources said the decline likely stemmed from buyers turning to imports from Asia and Europe, where prices for export material were lower than US pricing.

As MRC informed earlier, May production of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) in Russia was 112,000 tonnes (100% of the basic substance) versus 101,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of caustic soda totalled 543,000 tonnes in the first five months of 2020, up by 1.4% year on year.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PVC, kausticheskaya soda, petrochemistry, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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