Petrotahlil :Caustic soda was among $200 billion in Chinese goods upon which the US imposed tariffs in September last year. The US received 867,669 mt in caustic soda imports in 2017, which fell more than 5% to 823,044 in 2018, reflecting overall reduced import needs as US inventories rose sharply. Most imports flow from Asia to US West Coast buyers. The top three importers in 2018 were Taiwan, Canada and China.
After tariffs were imposed, flows from China plunged, the data showed.
From January through August 2018, the US received 106,151 mt of caustic soda from China. In the same span this year, those flows fell to 122 mt, the data showed. Overall, the US received 584,652 mt in caustic soda imports over January-August last year, and this year those flows fell 5.6% to 551,784 mt.
However, flows from other countries have risen sharply amid the decreased Chinese material.
Imports from Taiwan over January-August this year rose 6.8% to 208,483 mt, and flows from Japan were 11 times higher than in the first eight months of 2018 at 125,777 mt, the data showed.
Imports from Canada rose 11.5% to 79,150 mt, and flows from Peru reached 35,095 mt over January-August this year compared to none in the same span last year.
Caustic soda, a byproduct of chlorine production, is a key feedstock for alumina, pulp and paper, detergents and soaps.
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