Brazil Imports of Caustic soda up 116% versus Last March

Brazil is one of the largest importers of caustic soda in aqueous solution in the world, with YTD imports for 2019 totaling 2.3 million metric tons, up 15% compared to 2018 at year’s end. As of March 2020 YTD, Brazil had imported 709,000 tons, up 116% versus last year.

A strong base, caustic soda is used across many industries, in the production of alumina, paper, pulp, plastics, soap, and other chemicals.

After reaching record highs in February and May 2018 (343 USD/ton), the product’s price per has declined steadily, to a record low of $118/ton as of March 2020.

There was a significant spike in import volumes as of July 2019. Sources link petrochemical plant closures and the lifting of alumina production embargoes to the increased demand. Subsequent volumes have remained relatively high despite the global impact of the COVID-19 virus.

By far, the US is the greatest source of caustic soda for Brazil, accounting entirely for the peaks noted in 2019 and 2020.  

Exports from the US to its next largest partners – Australia, Jamaica, Canada, and Mexico – have remained stable by comparison.

By Christiana Fierro. Data from International Trader Publications’ Caustic Soda in Aqueous Solution World Trade Report, a continuously updated online analysis of global trade in caustic soda.