For the Quarter Ending September 2023
The assessment of the US Sodium Gluconate market reveals a decline in prices during the initial half of the quarter, primarily due to a persistent lack of demand from the domestic construction sector. Notably, the demand fundamentals for this product have remained subdued during this period. While there has been a modest improvement in the downstream construction sector in the course of the quarter, the sector's potential for growth has been hindered by an extended labor shortage within the country. It is worth noting that the prices of most construction-related raw materials have exhibited a consistent upward trend in the market, making Sodium Gluconate an exception to this general pattern. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that there has been an overall recovery, with the Producer Price Index (PPI) for Cement and Concrete Product Manufacturing rising from 235.094 in July to 235.795 in August, as reported by FRED. In the latter part of the third quarter of 2023, the US Sodium Gluconate market has experienced price stability. This can be primarily attributed to sustained demand from the downstream construction sector, further bolstered by a consistent domestic supply of Sodium Gluconate throughout the month.
Sodium Gluconate market observed a mixed market situation throughout the third quarter of 2023 on the back of changing market fundamentals and minor disturbances in supply chain. Prices remained low during the first half of the quarter due to low demand from the Asian market under the influence of seasonal lull. However, Sodium Gluconate prices have observed a significant rise during the second half of the quarter in the Chinese market on the back of rising imports queries amidst partial improvement in domestic consumption. Since the Chinese construction sector is striving for rebound for a long time, traders have been cautious with the price trend. Further, according to the data released by NBS China, PMI improved from 49.3 (July) to 49.7 (August), supporting the price uptrend. Further, demand from the other Asian countries like India remained seasonally firm, supporting this price trend. Additionally, monsoon season in the country and flood situation in several parts of China has also induced supply disturbances and supported the significant rise in prices during H2 of Q3 2023.
Sodium Gluconate prices within the European market recorded a decline in the months of July and August. This price downturn was primarily attributed to the subdued economic prospects coupled with a lackluster demand in the market. A notable cement manufacturer in Europe, "Buzzi SpA," reported a decline in demand during the initial half of 2023 and anticipates a continued period of sluggishness for the latter half of the year. These factors collectively weighed on market sentiment for construction-related raw materials across Europe. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that industrial activities within the region demonstrated resilience during this timeframe. As indicated by Eurostat, the Industrial Production Index, which stood at -1.3% in July, showed an improvement to 0.6% in August 2023. On the other hand, regional economic activities, particularly in Germany, remained relatively stable to subdued throughout this period. Data released by Deutsche Bundesbank Eurosystem revealed that producer prices of industrial products sold on the domestic market held steady at 147.1 in September after a revision from 147 in July.
For the Quarter Ending June 2023
In the second quarter of 2023, the US Sodium Gluconate prices showed an overall declining trend, despite an initial price increase in April. During the first month of the quarter, the price of Sodium Gluconate rose in the US market as local mills maintained a high base price, positively impacting the market sentiment for domestic and overseas buyers. The reduced delivery time also contributed to a decline in local inventory levels, leading to an increase in the price of Sodium Gluconate in the US spot market. However, in the latter half of the quarter, market sentiment for Sodium Gluconate declined due to economic instability caused by the debt crisis resulting from the failure of major banks across the USA. The inflation rate rose, and the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates, further impacting buyer confidence and leading to a sluggish US Sodium Gluconate spot market. The decline in employment rates also affected the downstream US and infrastructural sectors, resulting in decreased demand for Sodium Gluconate in the US spot market. The local inventory levels remained high, leading the US government to impose countervailing duties on imports of Sodium Gluconate from overseas Indian and European suppliers. At the end of the quarter, the US government signed a deal to extend the debt crisis, raising hopes for the upliftment of the US Sodium Gluconate market in the upcoming quarter.
During the second quarter of 2023, the Asian Sodium Gluconate market experienced a bearish trend primarily due to decreased demand from the downstream printing and metal treatment industry. The product prices declined by approximately 1.7%, 5.3%, and 2.0% in April, May, and June 2023, respectively. Similarly, in the Indian market, the price of Sodium Gluconate also decreased by around 4.2%, 4.5%, and 3.4%. Inflationary pressure led to increased production costs and a subsequent decrease in demand for the product in the Asian market. Despite sufficient supply in the domestic market, high inventories at the port led to selling the product at cheaper rates to alleviate pressure. The Chinese economy did not perform well during this quarter, with purchasing activity remaining low as consumers focused on essential goods. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a slower-than-expected rate of 6.3% compared to the previous year. At the end of the quarter, the price of Sodium Gluconate FOB Qingdao (China) stood at USD 530/MT.
In the second quarter, the price of Sodium Gluconate in the European region initially increased but later experienced an overall decline in the latter half of the quarter. In April 2023, the price surged in the European market due to a significant growth rate in the downstream automotive industry, which drove sufficient demand. However, in the second half of the quarter, the economic downturn in the global market negatively affected the market sentiment for Sodium Gluconate in Europe. A labor shortage across the European region impacted construction projects, leading to reduced consumption of Sodium Gluconate and higher inventory levels in the European spot market. Moreover, the automobile industry declined as the European Union imposed dumping duties on imported Sodium Gluconate from overseas Chinese and Indian markets during this period. Additionally, the plans of the Italian government to increase interest rates resulted in hesitancy from buyers and led Italian steel mills to decrease their offer price in the latter part of the quarter.
Throughout the first quarter of 2023, demand for Sodium Gluconate in North America was moderate to low. The slow economic activity, coupled with uninterrupted production, contributed to this demand trend. The construction sector experienced a marginal improvement by the end of the quarter, but it remained below expectations due to prolonged inflationary pressure. Moreover, the FED's frequent price revisions for domestic interest rates were adding to concerns about the country's economy and impacting the demand for the product. Further, labor shortage also restricted the actual growth in demand from the downstream industries.
In March 2023, the demand for products in India and China increased due to the seasonal demand surge and optimism about economic recovery. This resulted in a bullish market with moderate to high demand and stable supply in India, while in China, the market was bearish with low demand, stable supply, and prices on a downtrend due to the underwhelming economic recovery after the Lunar festival. In February 2023, both countries experienced a rise in demand from downstream industries, with stable supply and moderate demand in India, while China had stable supply with low demand, resulting in a bearish market.
The European economy has been underperforming due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which has put pressure on regional economic activities. As per data, demand for Sodium Gluconate from the domestic automotive sector has remained low, while other sectors, such as food & beverages and textiles, have also experienced seasonal lows. Despite some disruptions in the supply chain caused by snow, supplies remained stable to firm, and the narrow demand-supply gap supported a downward price trend. The reduced risk of a recession generated hope for future demand.