For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The Caustic Potash prices were falling during the fourth quarter of 2022 in North America. The muted downstream demand from the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industry and market uncertainties led to the declining price trajectory for the product. The rising recession and dull downstream sectors lowered consumer confidence in the US market for the commodity. However, traders remained cautious about the amount of supply expansion as production capacity started to rebound in the second half of October 2022, impacting the prices. Therefore, the price of Caustic Potash flake 90% was quoted at USD 1244/MT FOB Philadelphia (USA) in December 2022.
The Caustic Potash market witnessed an overall bearish sentiment in Q4 of 2022. The fall in the domestic offers from the downstream agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries amid the escalating market uncertainties affected the price movement of Caustic Potash in South Korea. The wait-and-see attitude amongst the consumers dampened the commodity offtakes in the regional market. The cheaper imports and consistent production activities in the region have also led to further negotiations in the Caustic Potash costs in the market during this quarter. The price of Caustic Potash was quoted at USD 1336/MT FOB Gwangyang (South Korea) in December 2022.
The Caustic Potash price showed a downward trend in the Q4 of 2022, backed by the ample availability of stocks and lower downstream demand in the region. The muted downstream inquiries and high upstream energy prices amidst the looming energy crisis have led to November and October force majeure in Germany and caused input pressure on the caustic potash production in this Quarter. In addition, rising inflation in the region and curtailed Russian energy supplies compelled the manufacturers to limit production in the region and make offtakes at lower profit margins to avoid stockpiling of inventories and to attain consumer confidence in the regional market in the quarter ending December 2022. The prices of Caustic Potash flake 90% were assessed at USD 1244/MT FOB Hamburg (Germany).
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
The market for Caustic Potash showcased a stable trajectory in North America by the end of September 2022. The USA's Caustic Potash prices dipped, backed by the unchanged downstream demand and persistent drop in the freight charges. Moreover, the strong US dollar, escalation in energy values, and surging inflation significantly impacted the price movement of Caustic Potash in the USA. As a ripple effect, the high inflation rate in the USA increased the product's input costs in this Quarter. Furthermore, the declaration of Shutdown in the primary Chlor Alkali producing chemical plant Olin at the end of this year in Texas resulted in solid consumer buying sentiments in the region. Thus, the price of Caustic Potash flakes was assessed at USD 1329/tonne FOB Philadelphia (USA) during September 2022.
The South Korean Caustic Potash market showed an upward trend in Q3 of 2022, owing to the surge in the domestic offers from the downstream agriculture segment amidst Chuseok Festival in South Korea. The Caustic Potash pricing dynamics were affected by the several production cuts in the APAC region due to the rising COVID-19 cases. As a ripple effect, Insufficient availability of inventories conclusively elevated the commodity prices in Asia. Meanwhile, the significant rise in the energy values and high inflation rate in the region also led to a change in the price movement of Caustic Potash in this Quarter. The inflation resulted in the depreciation of the Chinese Yuan, and South Korea won against the US dollar, impacting the input cost of Caustic Potash. Thus, the price of Caustic Potash was quoted at USD 1438/ton FOB Gwangyang (South Korea) in September 2022.
Caustic Potash led to upward price movement in the European market for Q3 2022 due to a rise in the downstream demand. The high upstream energy values and persisting inflationary pressure significantly escalated the production costs for the commodity in the European region. A cut in the Russian supplies of Natural gas and a fall in the Rhine River levels amidst the hot season lifted the price momentum for the product in this Quarter. European energy crunch and shortage of upstream energy supplies have led to a substantial rise of the Caustic Potash costs in the Quarter ending September 2022. Thus, the price of Caustic Potash was quoted at USD 1393/ton FOB Hamburg (Germany), with a month-on-month increase of 1.2% in September.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
In North America, the Caustic Potash prices fluctuated throughout the Q2 of 2022, backed by mixed market sentiments. In the first half of Q2, the prices decreased due to a decrease in demand from the downstream industries. High inventories are present in the market, leading to a decrease in price, and ample stock is available to feed the consumer's needs. Moreover, in the second half of Q2, the prices were upward in the second month of the quarter due to limited stock and high consumption from the consumer's end. While in the second month, the prices were lowered again due to high inventories of raw materials, Potassium Chloride in the market, and the input cost also declined.
In Asia-Pacific Region, the Caustic Potash prices fluctuated throughout Q2 2022, owing to mixed market sentiments. In the first half of Q2, the prices declined in the Chinese market due to high inventories. The demand from the end-use industries was also stable, and the product availability lowered the market pressure for the product. Moreover, in the second half of Q2, the prices increased in India in the second month due to demand from the detergents and soap industries. In addition, in the month of the quarter, the prices were lowered in the domestic markets of India due to the surplus availability of the product.
In Europe, the price of Caustic Potash fluctuated throughout the Q2 of 2022 due to the unpredictable market dynamics. In the first half of Q2, the prices were increased in the first month due to high demand from the end-use industries, including detergents and fertilizers. However, the prices were on a downward trajectory in the second month of the quarter, backed by a consistent increase in price, thus, decreasing the demand. Moreover, in the last month of the quarter, the prices increased due to the high input cost and the rose in the price of raw materials. Thus the price of the product remained fluctuated throughout the quarter.
Caustic Potash prices showcased firmness throughout Q1 in the Asian market as a result of halted production activities in several chemical producing areas in China as a result of implementation of Zero covid policy amidst Covid 19. Additionally, demand from agricultural segment also influenced the prices of Caustic Potash due to prevailing sowing season in the coming quarter in China. Existing manufacturers were indulged in making profits and raised prices of Caustic Potash under bullish buying sentiments in the domestic market. Prices of Caustic Potash were assessed at USD 1240/MT FOB Xingang in China in the month of March.
European market of Caustic Potash witnessed an upsurge since the month of January due to supply disruption from Russia amidst geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine. Demand for Caustic Potash was observed high due to the approaching sowing season in Europe which led to the increment in its prices. Moreover, extended energy crisis amid the ongoing geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine also consequently resulted in surged prices of Caustic Potash. Meanwhile, several planned maintenance outages in April in Europe also contributed to the surge in its prices. Prices of Caustic Potash were assessed at USD 1335/MT FOB Hamburg in Germany in the month of March.