Global Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) Prices incline in March 2024, Despite Sluggish Consumption
Global Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) Prices incline in March 2024, Despite Sluggish Consumption

Global Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) Prices incline in March 2024, Despite Sluggish Consumption

  • 03-Apr-2024 4:33 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

In March 2024, there was a slight upward trend in the global Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) market, including the United States, Germany, and Middle Eastern region, while prices for HCl in the Asian Pacific region maintained stability.

In the United States, HCl prices experienced a marginal increase of around 0.7%, primarily due to higher production costs, including a 6.2% uptick in feedstock liquid chlorine prices. However, the downstream steel market in the US responded sluggishly, with Steel Rebar prices decreasing by approximately 1.1%. Nonetheless, consumption in the Pharmaceuticals and Food segments remained moderate. Similarly, the German HCl market saw a slight increase in prices, approximately 0.9%, in March 2024. This price surge was linked to significant rises in HCl manufacturing costs, inflationary pressures, and disruptions in logistics. Despite a 3.5% increase in upstream caustic soda prices, the downstream steel sector remained subdued, with Steel Rebar prices declining by roughly 1.2%.

In the Asian Pacific region, HCl prices remained stable during March 2024, largely due to sluggish downstream demand. Despite a 3% increase in domestic feedstock liquid chlorine prices, challenges in the HCl downstream sector led to a decline of approximately 3% in Steel Rebar prices. Factors such as high ore inventory in the Chinese market and a rise in ore imports contributed to this scenario. However, there was a rebound in stainless steel inventories at the end of the month, accompanied by a gradual recovery in downstream demand, providing a glimmer of hope amidst subdued market condition. Furthermore, between January and February 2024, there was a significant decrease of 19% in iron ore prices, coinciding with a notable increase of over 16% year-on-year in stocks at major Chinese ports, which reached 134.9 million tons, marking the highest level since March 2023. Moreover, in February 2024, Dezhou Shihua Chemical Co, Ltd., based in Shandong, China, reduced its operational capacity from 8333 TPM to 5460 TPM of HCl for a duration of 10 days for maintenance following the closure during the Chinese Lunar New Year, leading to a temporary impact on stock inventory.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian HCl market mirrored the trends observed in the US and Europe, with domestic prices increasing by approximately 1.1% in March 2024. However, HCl upstream Caustic Soda prices witnessed a decline of around 3.2% within the domestic market. Despite this, downstream manufacturers encountered a slight decrease in demand and a diminished willingness to make purchases.

In conclusion, ChemAnalyst anticipate a continuation of the positive trend in HCl prices across the regions mentioned above, driven by the favorable response from downstream industries.

This optimistic perspective highlights the robustness of the HCl market, strengthened by a harmonious interaction between supply and demand factors.

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