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China soda ash and caustic soda market update..

Post Time:May 26,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:1134

In March 2009, due to the increased operating rate in domestic enterprises using Hou's process (combination process) and the unchanged demand for soda ash in downstream sectors, the price of soda ash decreased slightly. In northeastern China, the price of soda ash was relatively stable; in late March, the freight-contained price of light soda ash was at RMB1 200-1 250/t and heavy soda ash RMB1 350/t.

In early March, soda ash producers' quoted price increased by RMB20/t in northern China, but due to the dull demand in downstream sectors, the price of light soda ash and heavy soda ash were dropped to RMB1 080-1 200/t and RMB1 300-1 350/t respectively in late March. The price of light soda ash in eastern China dropped from RM:B1 050-1 150/t in early March to RMB1 000-1 100/t at the end of March.

Because of the high feedstock cost, the price of soda ash will probably not drop dramatically, but as the demand in downstream sectors has not increased obviously, the possibility of sharp rise in price is very small. It is predicted that soda ash price will maintain at a low level with little fluctuation in April.

Caustic soda

In March, caustic soda price changed differently. During the first ten days of March, due to the low operating rate of electrolytic facilities in downstream sectors, there was little demand for caustic soda, so the price of caustic soda in domestic market dropped further.

During the first ten days of March, the ex-factory price of 32% caustic soda manufactured by ionic membrane method in Shandong province was at RMB460-480/t and due to the decrease of production and sales volume in other provinces, the price of caustic soda rebounded in mid March. In late March, some producers' ex-factory price of 32% caustic soda by ionic membrane method was up to RMB520-560/t.

The ex-factory price of 32% caustic soda by ionic membrane method was quoted at about RMB679/t in northern Jiangsu province in the first ten days of March and dropped to RMB580-590/t at the end of March. In southern China, the prices of caustic soda were different--the bulk price of 32% caustic soda by ionic membrane method was about RMB730/t in late March, and the highest price was at RMB800-810/t.

It is estimated that the price of caustic soda will rebound in April.

Liquid chlorine

In late February and early March, the price of liquid chlorine in northern China dropped dramatically but was relatively stable in southern China.

In mid March, impacted by the low priced liquid chlorine that was from northern market, the price of liquid chlorine in southern China slid down. As of March 20th, due to the low operating rate of liquid chlorine facilities in northern China, the price of liquid chlorine began to go up slowly national wide. The price of liquid chlorine in northern China once decreased to the lowest RMB600-700/t and then rose to RMB900-1 000/t. The price of liquid chlorine in eastern China was hovering at a low level, with ex-factory price was about RMB500-600/t or RMB700-900/t.

As the demand for liquid chlorine in the downstream sectors such as epichlorohydrin, propylene oxide and PVC is still not large, the price of liquid chlorine will still fluctuate at the low level.

Hydrochloric acid

The hydrochloric acid market was slack in March, the prices of synthetic hydrochloric acid was different in domestic market, with few trading actions.

In March, the average ex-factory price of hydrochloric acid in Jiangsu province was at RMB200-300/t, in Henan province was RMB150-180/t. In mid March, except in northeastern China, hydrochloric acid's price went up and inventory decreased continually, the ex-factory price of hydrochloric acid rose from RMB100-200/t to RMB300/t, and even rose to RMB350400/t in some enterprises.

However, during the period of spring ploughing, due to the oversupply of byproduct hydrochloric acid in fertilizer industry, there was no reason to further drive the price rising of hydrochloric acid. Due to the resume of production facilities in rare earth industry in northwestern China, the demand for hydrochloric acid increased and the price in this region rose a little. In early April, the hydrochloric acid in Shaanxi Jintai Chlor-alkali Chemical Co., Ltd. was quoted at RMB200-300/t exfactory.

Source: Chemical ExplorerAuthor: shangyi

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