Sodium Sulfate Price Trend

Sodium Sulfate Prices (Q4 2021)

Asia

During the fourth quarter of 2021, the market sentiments varied for the Northeast Asia market and Southeast Asian market in the APAC region. In China, the market sentiments gradually eased after reaching the historic highs as the consistent efforts made by the Chinese authorities had curbed the power rationing in the country. As a response, the output efficacy improved after being dampened for two months. Whereas, due to the rising offers of crude oil and sulphur, sulphuric acid’s market remained buoyed in India, which was further backed by the constant demand from the fertilizers industry. As a ripple effect, the FOB Qingdao quarterly average discussion for the feedstock was assessed at 124 USD/MT.

Middle East

In the final quarter of 2021, the sentiments for the sulphuric acid market in the Middle East remained strongly upwards which affected the sodium sulfate prices. The market participants from the regional and international markets actively inquired about the acid throughout the quarter. Consequently, the Ex-Jeddah quarterly discussion for the feedstock was concluded at 210 USD/MT in the fourth quarter of 2021.

North America

After observing a constant upward trend in the previous quarter, the market sentiments for the chemical eased during the fourth quarter of 2021. This development in the market movement was majorly attributed to the better availability of upstream sulphur as the OPEC+ alliance decide to steadily increase the production of Crude Oil and it further backed by the announcement made by the Biden’s administration to release the strategic oil reserves in the mid of the fourth quarter. As a consequence, the FOB Linden NJ sulphuric acid price settled at 178 USD/MT.

Sodium Sulfate Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)

Asia

In the first quarter, the Asian market observed a fair import demand from other continents like Europe, although the regional demand remained low due to lesser enquiries from the downstream fertiliser sector. The Chinese Lunar year impacted Asian sulphuric acid output for a couple of weeks as inventory levels of several major manufacturers reduced to their lowest. Meanwhile, in the Indian market, domestic demand from phosphate fertilisers producers was lower than the export demand from Europe amid spring seasons. Despite sufficient availability, prices of the feedstock remained well backed by high priced imports arriving from some European countries. In India, the acid prices rose from 177.23 USD/MT in January 2021 to 207.17 USD/MT in March 2021.

The sodium sulfate prices were also impacted by this rise in feedstock prices. The market reported an extreme rise in demand for the chemical, primarily in China during the second quarter. Meanwhile, the demand in India remained moderate due to an unanticipated surge in pandemic cases. In the Indian market, the price of the commodity is highly influenced by the demand from downstream phosphate fertilizers segments and upstream crude oil values. Thus, the price of Battery Grade sulphuric acid was assessed at 288.7 USD/MT during the final week of the quarter. While in China, the upstream sulphuric acid prices increased by double-digit, due to a sudden hike in demand from the downstream market, supported by whooping economic recovery in the second quarter of 2021.

The prices of feedstock rose effectively in the Asia Pacific region during the third quarter of 2021, backed by consistent demand from the emerging economies including China and India. The prices climbed up in India in August followed by the sharp rise in prices of catalyst vanadium in the country. Despite a decline in the price trend of sulphur, amidst modest demand from the domestic market, producers had to elevate their product prices to sustain the product margin during Q3. Sources revealed that producers were facing the burden of surging production costs due to hiked catalyst prices, which pushed them to increase their product prices to protect their margin in Q3 of 2021. Ex-Depot Delhi NCR (India) price was last assessed at 174 USD/MT during the last week of September.

Europe

Europe had a modest demand for the chemical from the regional fertiliser sector during Q1 2021. The demand majorly was induced by the phosphate fertiliser manufacturing sector and remained high due to the onset of the spring season. The domestic supply ranged from moderate to low across the region amid strong demand which send the regional prices to new highs during the quarter. Trading activity remained halted due to freezing weather across the region that disrupted the supply activity across the region.

The market had firm demand for the feedstock in the second quarter amidst supply shortages across the region. The tight supplies of the feedstock influenced the production of sodium sulfate. Post pandemic spot demand from the regional downstream businesses effectively escalated, as the spot market activities were reaching their normalcy week over week. Additionally, curtailed supply activities due to lower inventory levels backed the prices to gain upward momentum in the meantime.

While INEOS announced the closure of its UK based upstream sulphuric acid plant operations, that induced uncertainties among buyers. In the European region, the feedstock’s market outlook showcased an upward price trend in the third quarter followed by the rise in demand from the downstream fertilizers sector. The crises of Europe's natural gas and a high energy surcharge raised the overall production cost of local manufacturers. Strong elemental sulphur during Q3 and disruptions in supply pushed the prices higher. Additionally, curtailed supply activities due to lower inventory levels further backed the price upward trend.

North America

The North American sulphuric acid market observed a downward trend in the first quarter due to lower demand from the downstream derivatives. As production activities were halted across the US gulf, due to freezing weather conditions, some production plants remained idle, for example, PCL Nitrogen shut its Texas-based production unit in mid-February. Although demand from the domestic market remained very low and several producers claimed sufficient availability of upstream sulphuric acid, average prices reduced by 2.4% during the quarter to settle at 60.5 USD/MT till March-end.

The market remained strong during the second quarter, gaining momentum from the pick-up in domestic fertilisers and other downstream industries. The demand for the commodity remained high in the meantime, while the supply showcased some fluctuations that led the prices to fluctuate respectively across the USA. Regular offtakes from the fertilizers segment maintained the demand for the feedstock while the industrial acid sector elevated demand lately, and eventually, the supply-demand gap escalated leading to a steep rise in its prices which in turn affected the prices of downstream sectors like sodium sulfate.

During the third quarter of 2021, the market price sulphuric acid observed a significant rise in the North American region. An improvement in the sulphur supply was observed which resulted in the adequate availability of the feedstock in the US market. In terms of demand, the regional market experienced an uptrend in Q3 as a result of strong demand from the downstream petroleum refining, chemical, and fertilizer industry. Pricing remained a key concern as manufacturers struggled to grapple with high energy costs.

Sodium Sulfate Prices Overview 2020

Asia

Sulphuric acid is the primary feedstock in the production of sodium sulfate in the Manheim process. Shortage in its supply was observed in Q3 2020 in the Asia Pacific region, because of escalated demand of the commodity from the downstream sectors in China which led to an increment in domestic Chinese consumption. This affected the production of sodium sulfate in the region. China is one of the major exporters and consumers of the feedstock in the Asia-Pacific region and strongly drives the regional market outlook. The demand-supply equilibrium of the region was seen impending shifts towards China and South Korea with manufacturers running out of stocks till the end of 2020.

Europe

The supply of upstream sulphuric acid was stable in Europe in Q3 of 2020, while its demand, which remained poor in July & August, showed gradual recovery by the end of September 2020. Most of the economies in the European region started recovering with demand from the acid consuming sectors gaining the lost upward trend by the second half of the quarter as rollovers were readily accepted by most buyers.

North America

The upstream supply of the feedstock was tight in Q3 because of the outbreak of Hurricane Laura in the region, which caused disruptions in the US power supply and ultimately impacted the sodium sulfate production.  Kennecott, one of the largest manufacturers of feedstock sulphuric acid via the smelter route reported a decline in sulphuric acid production due to disruptions in the power supply. Several other manufacturing units were heard announcing closures at their units temporarily, exacerbating the supply constraints. Some units were unable to resume production until the end of September, resulting in a significant demand-supply gap.

Procurement Resource Database

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Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Sodium Sulfate. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.

Chart Description

Procurement Resource provides prices of Sodium Sulfate for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
  • Africa

About Sodium Sulfate:

Sodium Sulfate is the inorganic compound obtained either from deposits of the sodium Sulfate minerals mirabilite and thenardite or from chemical synthesis. It is highly soluble in water and all forms of Sodium Sulfate are white solids. Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous disassociates in water to form sodium ions and Sulfate ions. The sodium ion is the primary cation of the extracellular fluid that plays a huge role in the therapy of fluid or electrolyte disturbances.

Chemical Formula of Sodium Sulfate

  • Na2SO4

Synonyms:

  • 7757-82-6
  • 7727-73-3 (decahydrate)
  • Sulfate of sodium
  • Salt cake
  • Thenardite (mineral)
  • Glauber's salt (decahydrate)
  • Sal mirabilis (decahydrate)
  • Mirabilite (decahydrate mineral)
  • Disodium Sulfate

Molecular Weight

  • 142.04 g/mol

Industrial Uses:

  • Adhesives and sealant chemicals
  • Agricultural chemicals (non-pesticidal)
  • Bleaching agents
  • Catalyst
  • Corrosion inhibitors and anti-scaling agents
  • Curing accelerator
  • Detergent manufacturing
  • Dyes
  • Fillers
  • Fining agent in glass melting process (degassing)
  • Finishing agents
  • Formulation agent
  • Functional fluids 
  • Intermediates
  • Laboratory chemicals
  • Manufacturing aid
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Oxidising/reducing agents
  • Pigments
  • Propellants and blowing agents
  • Solids separation agents
  • Surface active agents
  • Used in tanning process of leather
  • Substitute for raw material

Production Processes

  • Production of Sodium Sulfate via the Mannheim process; and the Slurry process.

In the Manheim process, Manheim furnace is utilised for the production of Sodium Sulfate. Chemicals like the sodium chloride and sulphuric acid are the main components of this production process. These products are mixed are rotated in the furnace, to which, more sodium chloride is added, which leads to the production of Sodium Sulfate cake.

Supplier Database

  • Acros Organics
  • American Elements
  • Charkit Chemical Company LLC
  • Penta Manufacturing Company

Note: Our supplier search experts can assist your procurement teams in compiling and validating a list of suppliers indicating they have products, services, and capabilities that meet your company's needs.

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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