Sodium Hydroxide Weathers Another Storm

July 2, 2021

The historic Gulf Freeze in February disrupted supply of many chemicals for months to come. Long-lasting plant outages had major repercussions in the US Sodium Hydroxide market (as well as many others). Rebuilding depleted inventories has been a months-long effort, as production capacities lost continue to be restored.

Then, another major weather event hit the Texas / Louisiana Gulf Coast mid-May, this time in the form of a slow-moving cluster of thunderstorms. Major flash flooding resulted, as total rainfall from the storm measured in feet- not inches- in what become one of the wettest days in the area’s history. At least one major chlor-alkali producer experienced debilitating flood damage, and had to shut down for several weeks to clean up.

Another producer experienced a brine pipe issue that resulted in a Force Majeure event.

The Sodium Hydroxide market has weathered the storms so far, and capacity has been restored in the main. But these unplanned outages and Force Majeure declarations hindered production, extended lead times, and resulted in overall tightness of supply in the market.

To top things off, strong demand for Sodium Hydroxide in sectors such as Alumina and pulp & paper have reinforced this market condition. Price increases have been issued by multiple producers and are taking effect. For questions about the current situation of the Sodium Hydroxide market and how it may affect your business, reach out to a representative today.