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Harvey Disrupts More Than One Third of U.S. Chemical Production

  • Storm shuts 37% of U.S. chlorine output and 40% of ethylene
  • Price gains seen in already tight caustic soda market
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Floodwaters Rise in Houston as Harvey Gains Strength

A third of U.S. chemical production has been disrupted by Tropical Storm Harvey, boosting prices and threatening shortages for basic industrial building blocks such as chlorine and ethylene.

Producers such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Occidental Chemical Corp. have shut plants and cut back operations in recent days along the flood-crippled Gulf Coast. Those disruptions have affected 37 percent of U.S. capacity for making chlorine and caustic soda, salt-derived chemicals used to make vinyl and PVC pipe, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.