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Buoyant demand to keep Asia caustic soda firm in Q1

January 26/2011

(ICIS) -- Asian caustic soda prices look set to remain at strong levels in the first quarter on the back of robust demand against a tightening of supply, market players said on Wednesday.


Spot prices were last assessed at $340-360/dmt (dry metric tonne) (?248-263/dmt) CFR (cost and freight) SE (southeast) Asia on 21 Jan 2011, according to ICIS. In 2010, caustic soda prices jumped by $115-120/dmt.


American buyers had procured cargoes from Asia due to an open arbitrage window, following spikes in US caustic soda prices due to tight supply, market players said.


Meanwhile, demand for caustic soda in Asia surprisingly remained robust ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in early February, market players said.


Caustic soda is mainly used in the manufacture of pulp and paper, alumina, soap and detergents.


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