Caustic soda buyers do not expect output losses or maintenance downtime to limit caustic soda supply in the second quarter of the year.
At the end of last year caustic soda (NaOH) suppliers had announced price hikes of €20-60/t for first quarter and first half 2017 contracts pointing to reduced supply and surge in production costs. EUWID research showed that NaOH producers had only limited success in increasing sales prices in Q1 deliveries on the market in Western Europe.
Now, the caustic soda industry is aiming for another increase in NaOH prices in quarterly contracts: manufacturers informed their customers of price hikes of up to 70 €/t effective April 2017. Once again, NaoH producers are citing tight market situation which is expected to be exacerbated in Mai and June by production problems and regular maintenance downtime at several electrolysis plants.
So far, buyers reportedly see no signs of limited supply on the NaOH market with volumes under contract being delievered as agreed. In addition, many EUWID-sources on the buying side of the market expect supply and demand in Europe to stay mostly in balance over the next months. The seasonal increase in chlorine demand in the second quarter of the year would increase capacity utilisation at operating chlor-alkali facilities, resulting in an increased output of caustic soda.