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Threat Raised on the US Caustic Soda Supply Chain Amid Baltimore Bridge Collapse
Threat Raised on the US Caustic Soda Supply Chain Amid Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Threat Raised on the US Caustic Soda Supply Chain Amid Baltimore Bridge Collapse

  • 02-Apr-2024 5:52 PM
  • Journalist: Motoki Sasaki

The Caustic Soda price trend in the US market continued to be affected by the supply chain-related disruptions at the termination of March 2024 following a collision of the Bridge at Baltimore with a container ship on the early morning of March 26th, which has put another threat on the supply chain for Caustic Soda. The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed, further causing significant disruption in traffic flow through the Maryland port. This port serves as a crucial hub for warehousing and transshipment activities for various commodities including Caustic Soda along the US East Coast.

As a result of the closure of the Port of Baltimore, the disrupted cargo movement poses a significant risk to the Caustic Soda supply chain, potentially disrupting the flow of shipments across the international market in the line of tight stock availability. Distributors and buyers in the northeastern US had already raised concerns about dwindling inventory levels in the first quarter of 2024, prompting slight downstream demand improvements in recent weeks. In a concerning turn of events, the collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge has raised alarms regarding the smooth movement of Caustic Soda in the United States. This incident comes at a precarious time when tank supplies in the region were already under strain due to unfavorable weather conditions. This market dynamic has led to more consistent Caustic Soda price increases in the US market.

Further, In response to these challenges, US Caustic Soda producers have announced further price hikes for April and the second quarter of 2024. This price escalation underscores the urgency of stabilizing the supply chain amidst infrastructure disruptions and tightening inventory levels in the Caustic Soda in the line of signs of downstream Alumina demand recovery. In summary, the Caustic Soda market will continue to navigate challenges stemming from inadequate increase in demand and tight supply concerns, prompting cautious buying behaviors across the globe.

As per ChemAnalyst, Caustic Soda prices are expected to fluctuate in the US market due to limited stock availability and heightened supply chain-related disruptions. Moreover, demand from the downstream Alumina and surfactant industry is expected to increase with a rise in the regional procurement sentiments in the coming weeks. Moreover, the closure of the port is anticipated to have a pronounced impact on US Caustic Soda exports, given Baltimore's pivotal role as a central trading point for the commodity. Despite being the nation's ninth-busiest port for international cargo, Baltimore stands out among US ports for its handling of "roll on, roll off" cargo.

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