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US caustic soda exports brisk

March 21/2011

(ICIS) -- Caustic exports from the US Gulf Coast were rapidly moving in wake of the Japanese disaster, sources said on Friday. Earlier last week, one US trader noted anxiety from buyers trying to source material. By Friday, demand for caustic was high as enquiries from Australia were now surfacing for US Gulf caustic. By one estimate, the global caustic supply was now short of 100 KT per month as a result of the Japanese outages.

Japans Asahi Glass Co (AGC) has shut its caustic soda plants at Chiba and Kashima after they were damaged in the massive earthquake on 11 March.

One US producer said inventories were shedding quickly through the export market and expected prices to rise by next week.

A US source said China and Korea both were out of export material, leaving the previously tight to balanced US caustic market up for grabs. 

US caustic export prices were currently assessed at $345-380/dmt.

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