Caustic Soda Price Trend and Forecast

Regional Price Overview

Get comprehensive insights into the Caustic Soda market, with a focused analysis of the Caustic Soda price trend across Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Caustic Soda Price Trend for the Q1 of 2024

Asia

Caustic soda prices were observed to be vacillating for the entire period of the first quarter of 2024. The prices followed a zig-zag pattern as the supply and demand interplay guided this price graph. In the Chinese domestic market, the heavy inventories tried to exert some downward pressure at first, but as the product movement rose and the upstream costs started rising with a rise in crude oil prices, the trend again shifted in the upward direction.

Caustic Soda Price Chart

Caustic Soda Price Trends

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The monthly average spot prices went from about 110 USD/MT (32% lye) in January’24 to around 112 USD/MT in March of 2024. Similarly, in the Indian domestic market, stable downstream demands pushed the market trend in a positive direction. The monthly average prices here were observed to be going from around 355 USD/MT (for 48% lye) to about 392 USD/MT in March’24. This yielded a 10% growth in the caustic soda price trajectory in the Indian market. Overall, positive market sentiments were witnessed in Q1’24.

Europe

Based on the dramatic upsurge in the oil and energy prices in the region, a general rise in commodity prices was observed as the production costs increased for the majority of products. Similarly, a rise was seen in the caustic soda price trend as well.

The freight and transportation issues in the international markets also pushed the prices up as the offshore trade got hurdled. In the United Kingdom’s domestic market, the prices went from about 585 USD/MT (48-50%, CIF Felixstowe) in January’24 to about 624 USD/MT in March’24. This imparted a rise of approximately 6% in the English caustic soda market.

North America

The American caustic soda market was found to be reflecting similar trends to the Chinese market. The already available inventories kept the prices here dwindled initially in the first half of the said quarter. The downstream demands were also humble at the time since the new year had just begun. However, the market started seeking stability as time progressed.

The demands started rising, and the freight disturbances in the Arabian and Indian Ocean riddled the regional supply outlook. Overall, a mixed market performance was experienced in the American caustic soda market, with occasional upward and downward movements in the price trend.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the Caustic Soda price trends are likely to waver in a similar manner in the coming months. The tribulations in international trade will be reflected in the local, and regional markets as well.

Caustic Soda Price Index For the Q4 of 2023

Commodity Sector Region Price Time Period
Caustic Soda Chemical North America 1320 USD/MT December’23
Caustic Soda Chemical Europe 560 USD/MT December’23
Caustic Soda Chemical Europe 555 USD/MT October’23
Caustic Soda Chemical India 367 USD/MT December’23
Caustic Soda Chemical India 403 USD/MT October’23
Caustic Soda Chemical China 116 USD/MT December’23
Caustic Soda Chemical China 110 USD/MT October’23


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Caustic Soda Price Trend for the October - December of 2023

Asia

The Caustic soda price graph was observed to be very uneven during the final quarter of the year 2023. Caustic soda is a very versatile chemical and is used for a plethora of applications since it is an affordable and easily available compound with a very strong basic (alkali) strength. In the Asian region, the Chinese market sentiments for caustic soda were largely positive as the monthly average spot prices rose from around 110 USD/MT (for 32% lye) in October’23 to about 116 USD/MT in December’23, registering an inclination of about 5%.

However, on the other hand, the Indian caustic soda market wavered slightly on the lower side during this time as the monthly average spot prices slid from around 403 USD/MT (for 42% lye) in October’23 to around 367 USD/MT in December’23. This resulted in an approximate decline of around 8% in the Indian Caustic soda market. Overall, mixed market trends were observed throughout the said period of Q4’23.

Europe

The European market trends for caustic soda were also very uneven, and the prices here wavered within a very narrow range. The first half of the discussed quarter was more supportive of the market trends than the latter one. However, the general market sentiments were still largely positive. In the United Kingdom’s caustic soda market, the monthly average prices varied from around 555 USD/MT (CIF, Felixstowe, for 48-50%) in October to around 560 USD/MT in December’23.

North America

The North American caustic soda market’s performance was relatively weaker than its Asian and European counterparts. Low industrial demands during the New Year holiday season resulted in the deceleration of American caustic soda market trends. The caustic soda prices in the USA remained stagnant and averaged around 1320 USD/MT in December’23.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, Caustic Soda price trends are expected to continue to vary given the regional imbalances amidst the current global economic scenario.

Caustic Soda Price Trend for the July-September of 2023

Asia

In the Asia-Pacific region, the caustic soda prices struggled to maintain their momentum, and the trend thus took a gradual declining path. The sentiments of the caustic soda market were hampered by the increasing levels of stockpiles and the widening of the gap between supply and demand.

The downstream industries also showed poor interest in this sector, which was evident in the declining number of new orders. Regionally, the fall in the caustic soda price graph was steep in China, standing at around 10% as compared to India, which was registered at approximately 5% in the third quarter.

Europe

The spending appetite of consumers in the European countries seemed to be affected by the weak condition of the economy that caused the prices of caustic soda to decline. Additionally, the downstream industries and expansion of the construction sector also suffered from the consequences of increasing rates of interest and growing inflation. The fluctuations in the cost of energy production further escalated the downward trajectory of caustic soda price graphs.

North America

The upswing in the caustic soda prices in North America was supported by high demand and improvement in the overall sentiments of the domestic market. The textile industries in North America and overseas increased their number of offtakes severalfold, but due to the disruptions in the supply chains, the equilibria of supply-demand got disrupted. In addition to this, alumina and its related derivatives experienced a surge in the momentum of their prices, which in turn supported the rise in the Caustic Soda Price Trend.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend of Caustic Soda are expected to face an oscillating trajectory due to the fluctuating demand from the end-user sector and the weak condition of the global economy.

Caustic Soda Price Trend for the First Half of 2023

Asia

Caustic soda prices in China remained low, swinging in the first half of 2023. The spot prices of caustic soda (32% lye) went from around 150 USD/MT in January to about 119 USD/MT in June’23. This fall in prices was majorly attributed to the decline in export queries. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China substituted Russia and Ukraine as exporters of Chlor-alkali products to Europe. The rigorous buying sentiments of the European buyers led to shortages in the Chinese domestic market, causing the prices to rise domestically.

However, no such active demands were seen in 2023 as the European suppliers overbooked amidst the rising uncertainties resulting in the oversaturation of products in the market. As demand from the international market decreased, the Chinese domestic market could not sustain such high prices, and caustic soda prices fell. The slowdown in the Chinese market due to the holiday season, coupled with high inventories, caused many factories to stop operation in order to stabilize the market.

The Indian caustic soda market, too, witnessed similar downward trend, given the oversupply and tepid demands. A fall of around 30% was seen in the spot prices of caustic soda (48% lye) from January to June’23.

Europe

The price trend for caustic soda remained on the lower side of the scale during the concerned period. The prices actively declined in the first quarter while remained stagnant in the second quarter. A fall of around 19% was seen in the caustic soda prices (CIF Felixstowe) from January to June’23. The oversaturation of the market due to the cheap imports from China caused domestic manufacturers to lower prices to remain competitive amid subdued demands.

North America

An oscillating price trend was observed for caustic soda in the American market in H1 2023. After a strong run in 2021 and 2022, energy and natural gas prices declined in the initial quarters of 2023. This fall in energy prices cut down the upstream costs, which, coupled with muted demand from the downstream industries, contributed to lowered prices. However, the prices inclined marginally towards the end of the second quarter due to a momentary rise in demand from solvent industries.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, caustic soda prices are expected to oscillate in the coming quarter. Given the current dynamics, the market offtakes will remain stagnant in the coming months owing to oversupplied inventories unless the demand rebounds and prices stabilize.

Caustic Soda Price Trend for the Second Half of 2022

Asia

The price trend for caustic soda kept volatile during the said period. The huge surge in the market demand for the platform chemical caused the prices to incline momentarily during the first half of Q3. However, the relaxed upstream costs and ample inventories caused the prices to decline, which continued in the fourth quarter as well though with frequent fluctuations.

The factors such as the depreciation of the Chinese Yuan compared to the US dollar and the manufacturers still reeling under the stresses of covid related losses caused the occasional incline in prices. In the Indian domestic market, the prices went from 716 USD/MT in July to around 667 USD/MT ( Spot India 48% Lye) in December’22. While the caustic soda prices in the Chinese market went from 183 USD/MT to around 161.31 USD/MT (Spot China 32% Lye) towards the end of December’22.

Europe

Despite being the most hard-hit region owing to the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the prices of caustic soda kept steady throughout the European market. The high electricity costs due to the high upstream crude oil and gas prices caused the manufacturers to raise their quotations. Their quotations were further supported by the strong downstream demand coupled with the depreciation of the currency against the USD. In the UK, the prices of caustic soda went from 730 USD/MT CIF in July to around 788 USD/MT (48-50%), CIF Felixstowe) (approx..) in December’22.

North America

The US domestic market exhibited a mixed trend during the said period. Initially, the market exhibited a dull sentiment as the demand from the downstream sectors was quite feeble. However, with Olin (a chemical giant) announcing the closure of its Chlor-alkali plant the market became active. The buyers started rigorously buying the product due to the speculations of shortages, hence raising the domestic prices. These high prices continued till the middle of Q4 from where the prices started declining again due to reduced enquiries. Caustic soda prices averaged around 780 USD/MT (FOB  USA, Solid) in December’22.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, caustic soda prices are expected to remain volatile in the coming months. The prices are likely to register an incline as the inflationary pressure starts to stabilize post the removal of covid related restrictions along with the steadily rising demand from the downstream sectors.

For the Second Quarter of 2022

Asia

Caustic soda prices remained consolidated in Asia. Due to significant production and limited demand from the downstream sectors, the market dynamics remained stable.

Prices averaged between 1259.6 RMB/MT in May 2022 to 1208.1 RMB/MT in June 2022. The price of 32% liquid caustic soda oscillated between 1280-1450 RMB/MT in the domestic market.

Europe

The European industrial sector is struggling because of the continuing political and economic turbulence. Hence, the prices for various commodities are reaching record-breaking highs.

In this quarter, the Caustic Soda Price Trend reached new peaks due to the uncertainty in the market amidst supply chain disruptions and the massive demand from the downstream industries. The paper mills struggled to keep their margin as the chemical’s price exploded compared to the previous year.

North America

Due to the outages in the United States in the previous quarter, the producers are still struggling to restore the depleted inventories. The cost remained strong with limited supply and rising demand for chlorine products and caustic soda. Prices in the US market averaged 810 USD/MT FOB United States Gulf.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend for caustic soda will likely witness an oscillating pattern in the coming months. Owing to the current muted transactions, the prices will decline marginally and stabilize towards the latter half, given the demand rebounds.

For the First Quarter of 2022

Asia

The downstream demand in China was more positive than it had been previously, owing mostly to the maintenance of the main caustic soda plant and the reduction of inventories. In February, the price of caustic soda increased initially and then decreased at the end of the month. At the beginning of the month, average caustic soda prices in Shandong was 917.5 RMB/MT which had increased to approximately 1,087.5 RMB/MT at the end of the month, an increase of 18.53%.

North America

In US, the caustic soda market witnessed an upward trend in the first quarter of 2022 as a result of concerns over supply shortages as several plants were scheduled for turnarounds. Caustic soda supplies from China and US went down which caused global shortages for the commodity in January 2022.

Two major plants of capacities 550 MTPA and 3 million MTPA were shut down in Alabama and Texas respectively which also affected the caustic soda supplies. Caustic soda prices (flakes) were up by 10% in the US in January 2022 as buyers continued to stock amid fears of limited supply in future with the upcoming Lunar holidays.

For the Fourth Quarter of 2021

Asia

In China, caustic soda prices (liquid 32%) were 850 RMB/MT in Dec 2021, a drop from the previous November 2021 figure of 960 RMB/MT, with the average being 700 RMB/MT from January 2021 to December 2021. The statistics peaked at 1,540 RMB/MT in October 2021 and peaked at 460 RMB/MT in May 2021.

The prices in Asia demonstrated conflicting sentiments in Q4 2021, as demand differed region wise. Due to the supply interruption caused by storm Ida, India saw a surge in export demand for the commodity from the United States. Export demand from China also grew in early Q4 for the same reason, although the impact on its pricing was modest due to abundant production. In December, average caustic soda prices in India was 650 USD/MT Ex-JNPT, while prices in China were range-bound between 210 and 206 USD/MT FOB Qingdao during the final quarter.

Europe

In Europe, the prognosis for the chemical’s market remained mixed during Q4 following a series of turnarounds owing to the region's harsh weather conditions. Vinnolit announced a state of force majeure at its German factories due to weather and logistical problems. With the restoration of operations in late November, the supply improved marginally, resulting in a stabilization of the price trajectory. In December, the average price of caustic soda lye in Germany was 540 USD/MT.

North America

Caustic Soda prices (liquid 50%) in the United States reached 550 USD/MT FOB Texas in November before progressively declining to USD 510 per MT in December. The market sentiments were mixed throughout Q4 in North America. Hurricane Ida's supply interruption continued to impact availability in the United States, despite strong demand from the alumina, pulp & paper, and detergent industries. By late December, supply in the United States had stabilized as a result of Vinnolit's lifting of force majeure on its factory.

Latin America

Due to a shortage of chlor alkali products in South America, prices for caustic soda and chlorine increased in nations such as Argentina, Brazil, and Columbia. Chlorine prices increased by nearly 20% in South America during the last month. As the availability of the chemical increased in other regions, the price of foreign offers decreased.

Latin American purchasers had a variety of alternatives ranging from 180 to 250 USD/DMT (dry metric tonne) FOB main port, depending on volume. With the majority of demand satisfied by imports from North America, the crisis was precipitated by the supply bottleneck in the United States.

For First, Second and Third quarters of 2021

Asia

Since the start of Q2, the price trend in India had been a steady fall of 13.64% till the second week of June. In India, ex-works caustic soda prices closed at 442 USD/MT. Whereas supplies remained balanced in the first quarter of 2021, as several Asian manufacturers scheduled maintenance turnarounds, the situation appeared to balance out when a significant producer restarted its facility in late January.

The supply in the Asia Pacific area was sufficient to meet robust market demand during the second quarter of 2021, as production rates increased in the Chinese domestic market. On the other hand, industrial and commercial activity was hampered in India due to the country being disproportionately affected by the second COVID wave.

Throughout the third quarter of 2021, the supply in the Asia Pacific area was stable. Increased freight costs and restricted feedstock supply in China resulted in an increase in the prices across the region. In India, the suspension of imports of caustic soda for a quality check according to the government of India's quality standard resulted in a sharp increase in its price. Caustic Soda prices increased from 456 USD/MT to 513 USD/MT in Q3 2021.

Europe

The supply fell significantly in the first quarter of 2021, as the market reached an all-time low. In early March, the average price in Northwest Europe was less than 180 USD/MT FOB. However, demand increased when the majority of the product’s supply was shifted to PVC manufacturing. Overall demand, however, remained constant, as the economy continued to struggle to completely recover from the pandemic's consequences in 2021.

In the European market, FOB Hamburg caustic soda prices fluctuated between 465 and 450 USD/MT in early October. Prices eased slightly by 15 USD/MT but did not go below the specified levels as manufacturers feared dwindling profit margins.

North America

The majority of the demand came from the water treatment and alumina production industries, with the FOB Texas price debate in June settling at 320 USD/MT. The operations of the chlor-alkali sector were seen recovering following a setback caused by polar winter storm Uri in the US gulf coast area, which knocked off three-quarters of the region's chlor-alkali output. The operating rates rose to 70% in the North American area in the first half of the quarter, boosting regional supply proportionately, but the demand picture improved in the second half as downstream operations started up.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana in the third quarter of 2021, resulting in the shutdown of multiple plants along the Gulf Coast of the United States. The factory closures had a detrimental effect on the region's material supply in Q3. The pricing was last established in the last week of September at 470 USD/MT FOB Texas.

For the Year 2020

Asia

The Asian market recovered, in Q3 2020 after chlor-alkali rates increased on the back of increasing chlorine demand for making PVC. Affected by the outbreak, downstream demand showed no discernible improvement. The market was projected to remain poor in the immediate term. China market prices improved somewhat since April. Middle Eastern manufacturers also increased their prices slightly.

Iranian producers supplied caustic soda flakes at a consistent price of 280-290 USD/MT. In the first week of June 2020, China's caustic soda prices (liquid) were 502.50 CNY/MT. Alumina production rates which remained stable at 75% in Q2 showed minor improvement with comeback in industrial activities. Production rates in other downstream sectors such as pulp and paper, textile printing, dyeing and chemical industries also returned to normal.

Europe

The European market witnessed an increase in prices. European manufacturers announced price increases of 30-40 EUR/MT  ($32-$43/MT) over Q1 contract prices, with anticipation of even bigger increases as supply remained under pressure as the expanding effect of the coronavirus epidemic weighed on chlorine demand.

North America

Throughout the first quarter of 2021, the supplies were affected when freezing weather struck the US Gulf Coast, forcing the suspension of several large chlor-alkali operations in Texas for several weeks. The closure of multiple operations had little effect on the region's product’s pricing, which were estimated at roughly 280 USD/MT FOB Texas. Throughout the quarter, increased consumption from downstream industries fueled demand in the regional market.

In the third quarter, chlor-alkali market outlook remained constrained owing to wounded sentiments in the United States as key chlor-alkali producers remained shut throughout the quarter after significant areas of the US were put on notice due to Hurricane Laura. Scheduled maintenance turnarounds further worsened the supply chain concerns.

South America

The export prices in Peru decreased during January from a value of around 350 USD/DMT (dry metric tonne) to 300 USD/DMT post which prices began to rise during the first two quarters reaching a value close to 450 USD/DMT. Caustic soda prices remained stable for the next quarter except for the month of July during which they greatly declined ($330/DMT). Pricing has been drifting downward in Chile as a result of the effect of cheaper offshore bids, with the majority of prices for mid-size purchasers at 250 USD/DMT FOB main port.

Brazil's imports increased by 17% year on year to 2.7 million tonnes, or by 11% year on year to $507 million in value terms. The United States, followed by Peru and China, continued to be Brazil's primary source of the product, accounting for 91 percent of import volume. Physical purchases from the United States and China increased significantly last year, while imports from Peru fell by 12% year on year. The average import price of decreased by 5.3% year on year to 185 USD/MT in 2020.

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About

At room temperature, Caustic Soda is known to be a white crystalline odourless solid that is synthetically manufactured. It is an inorganic compound  with the ability to absorb moisture and carbon dioxide from the air. When miscible in water or neutralised with acid, it liberates substantial heat, that may be ample to ignite combustible materials. As Caustic Soda is corrosive in nature, It is generally utilised as a solid or a 50% solution.

Product Details

Report Features Details
Product Name Caustic Soda
Chemical Formula NaOH
Industrial Uses Strong base, Pulp and paper, Alumina, Soap and detergents, Petroleum products, Esterification and transesterification reagent, Textiles, Food preparation, Cleaning agent, Chemical synthesis, Water treatment, Metal processing, Mining, Glass making 
Molecular Weight 39.997 g/mol
Synonyms 1310-73-2, Sodium hydroxide, Sodium oxidanide, Sodium hydrate, Lye, Ascarite, White caustic
Supplier Database Akzo Nobel NV, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OxyChem), Arkema Group, Covestro AG, Tata Chemicals Limited, Dow Chemical Company, Shin-Etsu Chemicals Co. Ltd, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Solvay SA
Region/Countries Covered Asia Pacific: China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, UAE, Israel, Hongkong, Singapore, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Australia, and New Zealand

Europe: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy,  Spain, Russia, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Ireland Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece

North America: United States and Canada

Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru

Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco
Currency US$ (Data can also be provided in local currency)
Supplier Database Availability Yes
Customization Scope The report can be customized as per the requirements of  the customer
Post-Sale Analyst Support 360-degree analyst support after report delivery


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Production Processes

To produce Caustic Soda from lime soda process, a weak liquor through a filter and soda ash are collected in the dissolving tank where they are converted into an intermediate milk of lime in the presence of hot water, cauticisers and thickeners. This results in the formation of dilute Caustic Soda, which is further filtered.

Methodology

The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).

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