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Caustic Soda Prices Stabilize in Asia and US, Poses a Possible Rise in Near term
Caustic Soda Prices Stabilize in Asia and US, Poses a Possible Rise in Near term

Caustic Soda Prices Stabilize in Asia and US, Poses a Possible Rise in Near term

  • 12-Feb-2024 5:23 PM
  • Journalist: Nina Jiang

The Caustic Soda prices in the Asian and North American markets paused in the two consecutive weeks of February 2024 as the trading atmosphere in the downstream market failed to build any significant momentum in the prices of the commodity. The Downstream alumina was restocked based on need, lacking any positive reinforcement for Caustic Soda pricing dynamics for this time frame.

In Asia, the Caustic Soda consumption within the regional market exhibited a lackluster trend this week. Throughout the first week of February 2024, the overall Caustic Soda prices have maintained their stability, and presently, there is a continued but moderate demand for downstream purchases, reflecting an average level of purchasing enthusiasm.  As January 2024 ended, the upward momentum in nationwide alumina spot prices was slowing down, and consumption began to reduce at the start of February 2024. The Caustic Soda prices faced stagnancy also due to the shipping disruptions and suppliers’ concern about container shortages amid the Red Sea crisis. Following the redirection of ships around the Cape of Good Hope due to the Red Sea crisis, industry experts have voiced apprehensions about a potential shortage of empty containers at Chinese ports post the Chinese New Year holiday. Chen Yuanhan, the vice president of C.H. Robinson North Asia, highlighted that the ramifications of the Red Sea crisis extend beyond local waters, significantly impacting the global shipping industry and supply chains.

North American Caustic Soda prices also exhibited stagnancy for January 2024, as a result of limited downstream procurement activities and constrained supplies. The downstream demand remained dull as a result of macroeconomic conditions. The trading side of the downstream Alumina market has failed to build any significant momentum during this time frame. The tightness in supplies narrowed the gap between the supply and demand contributing to the current stabilization of Caustic Soda prices.

According to ChemAnalyst, Caustic Soda prices are anticipated to remain relatively stable in the North American and Asian regions in the coming weeks due to decreased inventory levels and inadequate momentum of downstream demand. In Asia, after the completion of pre-holiday stocking in China, the focus shifts to the post-Spring Festival period, during which new production capacity of Caustic Soda as well as downstream is expected to be introduced. Some scheduled maintenance and production reduction lines are on the horizon, indicating a projected increase in supply. Simultaneously, persistent geopolitical uncertainties and disruptions to shipping in the Middle East are expected to pose ongoing challenges for the global economy. The disruptions in shipping and supply chains carry inflationary implications, presenting an additional hurdle for central banks as they consider potential monetary policy adjustments.

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