Suppliers are complaining of slim profit margins and wish caustic soda price to rise soon.Insiders voice scepticism about a few NaOH manufacturers planning to charge more for Q4 deliveries.
With supply ample of late, caustic soda (NaOH) producers' plans to charge more in the fourth quarter seem to be off the table. EUWID sources often reported a trend towards keeping fourth quarter prices unchanged at the third quarter's level.
Any supply shortages had been seen only regionally, for instance in the event of plants going offline, market experts explained. The electrolysis units' downtime and stoppages over the summer were accompanied by much cooler demand than expected. Caustic soda inventories were hence unchanged even though production had decreased. As a rule, buyers could easily switch to other suppliers, weakening manufacturers' position in talks, they said.
Industry insiders noted that the European caustic soda market was becoming more and more fragmented with regional characteristics becoming increasingly apparent. Consequently, they believe that the mark-up proposed by some manufacturers might first come to bear outside Germany, even though in a limited way.